Monday, July 18, 2011

Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownies

I was feeling extra productive this Saturday and I woke up early to go to a yoga class, which I’m still feeling the effects of. Yoga is hard!

After the class, I decided to stop by the Farmer’s Market since I hadn’t been in at least two weeks and was feeling a bit of withdrawal. I ended up buying about $18 worth of goodies in under 20 minutes. How’s that for talent?

Of that $18, $3 went toward a pint of sweet Michigan cherries, with which I decided to bake something.



I thought chocolate and cherries would make a nice combination, but in general I’m not so into chocolate cake. I very briefly thought about putting fresh cherries into cookies, possibly an oatmeal chocolate chip cherry cookie. I might come back to this at a later point.

In the end, brownies were the winner. I found a killer looking recipe online for dark chocolate brownies with roasted cherries and went with it.



I altered the recipe very little, but the directions quite a bit. I credit this to my post-college graduation (but no more developed than a college kitchen) kitchen, in all it’s under equipped glory.

I think making up for my lack of equipment often adds to the fun of baking. It requires a bit of innovative thinking, which is something I enjoy a lot. Looking back through some of blog posts, you can see where I’ve used brown paper bags for a cooling rack, and a Relay for Life cup as a rolling pin.

In the next upcoming post you’ll see a blender used as a food processor (this one didn’t work out so well).

Well, you win some, and you lose some. These brownies = WIN!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownies: (recipe adapted from thepastryaffair.com)

Recipe: 
  • 1 cup (or a little more) fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 ½ cups dark chocolate (I used 1 bar of Ghiradelli and 2 bars of Hershey’s Special dark)
Sorry Ghiradelli, but you cost too much and I'm unemployed
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

Directions:
  • First roast your cherries. The instructions I followed said, “in a small roasting pan, combine cherries with 1 tablespoon of sugar and roast for 10 minutes or until the cherries release their juices.” READ: Spread cherry halves on a makeshift tin foil baking dish and sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar on top. Put in a toaster oven for 8 or 9 minutes, and put them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
Chopping the cherries got messy:
Was it Ms. Scarlet with the knife in the kitchen?

...anyone else a fan of Clue?
  • Then the original instructions said: Melt chocolate and butter in a double broiler. READ: Melt chocolate and butter in a pot, carefully but awkwardly balanced on top of another pot filled with boiling water. Once melted, remove chocolate from heat until you're ready to add it to the mix.
  • Whisk eggs, 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
  • In a different bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add chocolate to egg mixture and mix well.
  • Fold in dry ingredients.
  • Fold in your chilled cherries.
  • Pour in a pan (9 x 9 if you’ve got it) or something close to that size. I used a pan that was either 11 x 6 or 10 x 5. It was a little small, but worked well enough.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the center of the pan doesn’t wiggle much when you shake it


Recipe and Directions unobstructed by pictures:
  • 1 cup (or a little more) fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 1/2 cups dark chocolate (I used 1 bar of Ghiradelli and 2 bars of Hershey’s Special dark)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
Directions:
  • First roast your cherries. The instructions I followed said, “in a small roasting pan, combine cherries with 1 tablespoon of sugar and roast for 10 minutes or until the cherries release their juices.” 
    • READ: Spread cherry halves on a makeshift tin foil baking dish and sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar on top. Put in a toaster oven for 8 or 9 minutes, and put them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
  • Then the original instructions said: Melt chocolate and butter in a double broiler. 
    • READ: Melt chocolate and butter in a pot, carefully but awkwardly balanced on top of another pot filled with boiling water. Once melted, remove chocolate from heat until you're ready to add it to the mix.
  • Whisk eggs, 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
  • In a different bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add chocolate to egg mixture and mix well.
  • Fold in dry ingredients.
  • Fold in your chilled cherries.
  • Pour in a pan (9 x 9 inch if you’ve got it) or something close to that size. I used a pan that was either 11 x 6 or 10 x 5. It was a little small, but worked well enough.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the center of the pan doesn’t wiggle much when you shake it

4 comments:

  1. You wouldn't believe how often I use my own make-shift kitchen appliances (I just don't tell anyone about them... shhh). I once had a kitchen without a microwave, toaster, food processor, blender...

    It was an experience. Just for the record, magic bullets do work well as food processors. :)

    Happy these brownies turned out so well for you!

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  2. thanks for the tip Kristen!

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  3. If you have a microwave, you can melt chocolate in ten second increments. Proceed slowly as the chocolate could "seize" or separate and you don't want that to happen!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I lived in a small studio apartment in Seoul, Korea the first few years after college which had only a 2 ring gas burner. I bought a toaster oven and friends were amazed at the cookies, cakes, and small roasted chickens that I managed with that toaster. It was often dubbed the Toaster that Saved Christmas. Magic Bullets can not only act as food processors, but they can also turn heavy cream and vanilla extract into fluffy frosting in 30 sec.

    ReplyDelete