If you’re planning on cooking a romantic meal for someone this Valentines (and lets be honest, the restaurants still aren’t open, so now’s the time to do it!), then these Boozy Brownies make the perfect dessert. They taste divine – chocolate, cherries and Kirsch = a match made in heaven! But they can also be made a few days in advance and kept in the fridge, which means less stress on the day, and more time to lovingly gaze at each other across the table. They can then be eaten cold, but I recommend warming them up (just pop them in the microwave for a minute or so) and serve them with vanilla ice cream rippled with Kirsch – yum! More details on that below.
I actually have my mother-in-law and a fellow blogger to thank for this recipe. We went to my husband’s parent’s house for Christmas dinner last year, and she sent us home with a food parcel, as always. This time, in with the leftover turkey, mince pies, nut roast and Christmas pudding, there was a jar of Kirsch soaked cherries. She had planned on making an Eaton Mess with them but hadn’t got round to doing it, and she knew I’d find a use for them.
I’d seen these jars of cherries before, in the baking aisle of my local supermarket, but had never picked them up and done anything with them. But last summer I followed a recipe for brownies with raspberries in the centre that I found on a fellow blogger Skinny Spatula’s site (you can find that recipe here – Easy Chocolate Raspberry Brownies) They were delicious, and as soon as I saw the Kirsch soaked cherries, in my food parcel, that recipe came to mind. I’ve kept her general techniques of melting the butter and chocolate and whisking the eggs, combining everything slowly to make sure the brownies stay gooey in the middle, but rise nicely and crack on top. But I’ve of course, had to play around with the ingredients and measurements to include the soaked cherries and Kirsch syrup, as it would be a shame to waste that!
There are a few ways to serve these brownies, depending on how much effort you want to make. They are yummy as they are, I took them into work a few days ago and had no complaints from my colleagues who ate them cold, on there own. But if you want a bit of a showstopper to really impress your dinner guests, try cutting them up into squares and layering them up in a Sunday glass with vanilla ice cream, more of the soaked cherries, a drizzle of the Kirsch syrup and hot chocolate sauce.
Or do what I did and make your own boozy cherry ripple ice cream and serve a large scoop of it with a slice of warm brownie. To make it, just put a few scoops of vanilla ice cream in a tub and let it melt until it’s soft, not liquid. Pour a few tablespoons of the Kirsch syrup on top and swirl the spoon around in the ice cream. Then refreeze it, and scoop as normal.
Ready in 55 mins (15 mins prep, 40 mins bake)
- 200g of 60% or higher dark chocolate
- 150g of unsalted butter
- 2 free-range eggs
- 150g of caster sugar
- Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of Kirsch syrup from the cherries
- 150g of plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 100g of Kirsch soaked cherries
- Pre-heat your oven to 180c / 160c fan / gas mark 4.
- Put the dark chocolate and butter in a pan, and melt gently over a low/medium heat.
- Once completely melted, take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, whisk your eggs in a large bowl until thick.
- Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk in until fully combined. The mixture should be thick and glossy.
- Add the melted chocolate and butter, and the Kirsch syrup.
- Mix well
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, and fold in.
- Butter and line a small cake or loaf tin and pour half the cake mixture into the bottom.
- Spread out evenly and sprinkle the cherries on top.
- Spread the remaining mixture on top of the cherries and smooth the top.
- Bake for 40 mins or until set on top, but a skewer inserted into the middle of the brownie comes out with a small amount of mixture still on it.
- Turn the tin 180 degrees half way through baking to ensure an even bake.
- Leave the brownie in the tin for a few mins before lifting out and slicing into pieces.
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