Rich, decadent and completely irresistible- it's the best way to describe these chocolate cherry brownies. With paper-thin, crackly top, fudgy and gooey in the middle, and crispy, chewy corners and chunks of sweet and juicy cherries, these chocolate brownies tick ALL of the boxes and more!
They are quick and easy to make, and are ideal bake for any occasion. Made for sharing, but once you try them, you will want to keep them all for yourself!
This recipe is based on my Easy Homemade Brownies, and the ingredients are exactly same, but these chocolate brownies have sweet and juicy cherries added to them.
Cocoa powder- try to use unsweetened, Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Dutch processed (or alkalized) cocoa is much less bitter than natural cocoa powder, because it has been treated with an alkaline to reduce the acidity of cocoa. It is also usually darker in appearance, and will produce darker batter. UK doesn't really differentiate between Dutch processed and natural cocoa in recipes, so it is always best to check the ingredients list to make sure (check out this short article from Nigella, to learn more about cocoa). I use Green & Black's organic cocoa in my bakes.
Chocolate- use good quality chocolate, best you can afford. I always use chopped chocolate in my baking, because it is higher quality than chocolate chips (which are often made with vegetable oil), and it produces better results. I'm a fan of dark chocolate in baking (70% cocoa solids), but I often use both, dark and milk chocolate when making brownies. For any readers based in the US, you can use semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or a mixture of both.
Cherries- you can use fresh, tinned or frozen cherries in this recipe. I have tested this recipe multiple times, and with each type of the cherries. My personal preference is to use fresh cherries, as they are most flavoursome. If using frozen cherries, there is no need to defrost them first. One thing that I would say about using frozen cherries is that you may want to add few extra minutes to the baking time, as they add more moisture to the bake. I know some recipes are also using maraschino cherries, but I haven't tried it myself.
Start with greasing and lining the 8 x 8 baking tin with baking paper, leaving plenty of overhang (it helps with removing the brownies from the tin later). Preheat the oven to 170C and make sure the baking shelf is in the middle part of your oven.
Firstly, melt the butter with 100g of sugar. Wait until the sugar has fully dissolved and you have thick, glossy mixture. Remove it from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Place the eggs and remaining sugar in a large bowl, and using a hand-held electric mixer or kitchen whisk, beat the eggs and sugar until they are pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. The mixture should almost double in volume and be really airy.
Tip all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with eggs and sugar. Add dry ingredients into wet ones, fold the ingredients together using a spatula or wooden spoon, but do not overmix it. Few streaks of flour remaining are just fine.
Lastly, fold in the chopped chocolate and cherries. Mix it all to combine again, then transfer the brownie batter into the prepared baking tin. You can scatter some more chocolate and cherries on top if you desire.
Bake the brownie for 35-38 minutes. It should be slightly under-baked (it will continue to cook and set after you take it out of the oven), and the toothpick inserted in the middle should come out with crumbs attached to it.
If you like your chocolate brownie to be more cakey, simply bake it for a bit longer (40- 45 minutes), or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean.
Allow the brownie to cool before slicing it. Wait at least an hour, or ideally, until they have cooled completely. The longer you wait before slicing them, the more set they will be. I always allow them time to cool down, then transfer them to the fridge to chill overnight, but it's up to you whether you want (and can!) wait for that long.
How to get shiny top on brownies
Different recipes claim different things when it comes to achieving that iconic, paper-thin and shiny brownie top. Based on my experience and years of baking brownies, I believe that there are two things to watch out for:
- Make sure you beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is light, pale and fluffy (almost doubled in volume). You want to beat as much air into the eggs as possible, just like you do when making meringue.
- Use good, high quality chocolate/ chocolate chips- it will make ALL the difference! I promise you, using quality chocolate will guarantee that beautiful, glossy top we all aiming for!
How to get that clean cut
Use a large, sharp knife to slice the bake with. To get that super-clean, neat cut, simply wipe the knife clean between each cut. I always run my knife under the hot water, then wipe it clean before slicing.
Can I use different size baking tin?
You can use different size and shape baking tin to make these brownies. The 9-inch (23 cm) round cake tin will work really well. If you are using rectangular baking pan, it is more likely to be larger and shallower, so you will have to adjust the baking times (reduce it slightly, as they will bake quicker).
If using smaller, square baking tin, the bake will be deeper, so you will more likely have to add some extra time to baking.
Store these chocolate cherry brownies at room temperature for up to 4 days, or keep them in the fridge, for up to 6 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight and bring to room temperature before serving. You can also reheat them in the microwave.
Chocolate Cherry Brownies
- 8 inch square baking tin
- baking paper
- hand-held electric mixer
- whisk and spatula
- 150 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 300 g sugar caster or granulated
- 3 large eggs
- 115 g plain flour
- 70 g cocoa powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 200 g chopped chocolate dark or milk or both
- 250 g cherries (pitted) cut into halves and quarters
- Preheat the oven to 175 C (160 C fan). Butter the bottom and the sides of your 8" square baking tin and line it with baking paper, with plenty of overhang.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and 100g of sugar and heat over a medium heat, stirring slowly until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted completely, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the remaining 200g of sugar until light, smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Pour the sugar and butter mixture into the sugar and egg mixture and whisk to combine.
- In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with sugar, egg and butter mix and whisk to combine. Do not overmix, few streaks of flour remaining are just fine. Add the chocolate and cherries and fold them with spatula until they are evenly incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and smooth the top with spatula. You can also reserve a small handful of chopped chocolate and scatter it over the top of brownie batter.
- Bake the brownies for 35- 38 minutes or until the top of the brownies is set and shiny, with few cracks in the surface. Toothpick inserted in the middle will not be clean and should have crumb on it.
- Allow the brownies to cool and set in the tin for at least 1 hour or ideally, until completely cool (I always transfer mine to the fridge to set overnight). Use the overhang baking paper to lift the brownies from the tin, slice into 16 square pieces and enjoy!
- You can also bake these brownies in round, 9-inch (23 cm) cake tin. If you are using larger, rectangular baking tin, the brownies will not be as thick and will require less baking time, so make sure you keep an eye on that.
- If you prefer your brownies to have more cakey, rather than fudgy texture, bake them for few minutes longer (add about 5 minutes to baking time).
- Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting them into slices.
- To achieve the clean cut, use a large, sharp knife and wipe it clean between each cut.
- Store sliced brownies in the airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also store them in the airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days.
- You can freeze the brownies for up to 3 months. Wrap them tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap/ clingfilm, followed by a double layer of kitchen foil. To thaw, unwrap the brownies from the packaging and let them sit at room temperature for 3-4 hours.