There’s just something about the fresh produce in the summertime that makes me want to put it in everything. It seems like a crime to use chocolate chips or toffee bits as a flavor enhancer when I have piles of gorgeous strawberries, cherries, peaches, plums, and raspberries winking at me from all over the kitchen.
The result of this fruit flirtation? A whole lot of fruity, perfect for summer desserts.
I live in San Diego, and while it’s been above-average hot around here (80s), I know it’s WAAAY above average hot in most places. Hence, most of you don’t wanna turn on your ovens, and you want something light. Um, sorry.
These are rich, decadent, and chocolatey, and you must turn on your oven to bring out the incredible sweetness of those cherries (and to bake the brownies, of course). So please jack on your air conditioning, or do this at night – these need to be tasted.
I don’t know why putting fruit into a brownie seemed like such a weird concept to me, especially roasted fruit. (For those that were skeptics of roasted fruit on my Instagram, OMG…just don’t be. It’s the best.) All my doubts about the brownies were shot when I took my first bite. The brownies are ultra-decadent and the pop of juiciness and cherry flavor is simply put, the cherry on top.
This brownie recipe is one of my favorites because it creates an ultra-fudgy, ultra-chocolatey brownie without having to melt down chocolate. It’s all cocoa powder! It comes together quickly in one bowl, and besides the roasting time of the cherries, the whole thing takes less than 5 minutes to throw together. That’s my kind of recipe (AKA a lazy girl recipe).
Theoretically, you could put fresh cherries in, but the roasting brings out a lot of the flavor, sweetness, and most importantly, releases some of the juices. with fresh cherries, they may release too much juice and your brownies may be TOO fudgy. Experiment at your own risk!
Now, I know some of you are worried about the pesky task of pitting those darn cherries. For that task, I use my handy dandy OXO cherry pitter which makes the task simple and quick. However, before I got that tool, I did it the old fashioned way: slice in half with a knife, pull out the pit – bam. The recipe only calls for 1 cup of cherries, so the task shouldn’t be too hard. I promise, the result is worth it!
Hope you guys get your hands on some cherries and bake up a pan of these sweet summery brownies! Enjoy :)
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (8.75 oz, or 250g)
- 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (2.5oz, or 70g)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (weighing nearly 2.5 ounces or 65 grams)
- 1 cup fresh cherries, stemmed, pitted and halved
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 450F. Place cherries on a lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until cherries are starting to release their juices. Remove from the oven and let cool in the refrigerator while preparing the remainder of the recipe.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang on the sides, spray with cooking spray; set pan aside.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, sugar, cocoa, optional salt, and heat on high power to melt, about 45 seconds. Stop to stir, and heat in 10-second bursts until mixture has melted and can be stirred smooth. Batter will be very granular.
- Add the vanilla, eggs, and stir vigorously until batter is thick, shiny, and well blended. Add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer. Fold in the roasted cherries. Spread batter into prepared pan.
- Bake until a toothpick in the center emerges slightly moist with batter, about 22-25 minutes. Check with a toothpick - your batch may need a few minutes longer. Do not bake over 30 minutes or brownies will be prone to scorching, burning, turning dry, or setting up too hard. Brownies will firm up as they cool.
- Cool brownies completely before cutting into 16 equal squares with a very sharp knife.
- Brownies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.