This intense, decadent and fudgy brownies recipe is so good! It’s from my cookbook Eat Cake Naked: aphrodisiac desserts to heat up your love life, and I’m sharing it here because I think this dark chocolate cherry brownies recipe is so incredible that this alone will convince you to buy the cookbook. That’s right, these brownies with cherries are so good they can sell a cookbook.
What makes this recipe different from other cherry chocolate brownies? This dessert recipe represents everything a great recipe should. It is simple enough that anyone can follow it. Yet the flavor offers complexity and intensity from the balsamic-soaked cherries and the dark chocolate chunks. Then there’s texture from the soft, perfectly moist batter, the surprise of chewy cherries and the crunch of nuts. And you get it all in one seductive bite. But best of all, these brownies are made with chickpea flour – they are entirely wheat-free. This means they have an added bonus of protein and fiber and chickpea flour makes these brownies naturally gluten-free.
You know you want to make this brownie recipe!
Choosing the best cocoa powder for brownies
This dark chocolate cherry brownie recipe calls for high fat cocoa powder. To make the best brownies, it is critical that you find a good cocoa powder. A cocoa bean is about 50% fat. Most of that fat is extracted during processing into cocoa powder. But all cocoa powders still have some fat, between about 10 and 24%. Most grocery store brands have around 10% but a high fat cocoa powder has over 20%. Why does it matter? Because the more fat in the cocoa powder, the more richness it will bring to your baking. It also helps ensure moisture.
Should you use Dutch process cocoa powder?
If you need a recommendation for a great cocoa powder, this one from Valrhona is amazing. You’ll notice that it’s a Dutch process cocoa powder. You don’t necessarily need to choose a Dutched cocoa for this recipe but some people prefer it for the darker color. (Dutch processing removes some of the acidity from the cacao. This tends to result in denser, fudgier baked goods. So keep that in mind when baking if you prefer fudgy brownies.) Here’s some additional information on Dutch process cocoa powder that I found helpful.
A note on using cherries in brownies
For this brownie recipe I buy dried cherries that are simply identified as “dark cherries.” But you can use any dried sweet cherries you like, such as these dark, sweet cherries. Just make sure not to buy tart cherries. I find they are too tangy for this recipe.
To soften the dried cherries to give them the right texture, I soak them in balsamic vinegar. The cherries will absorb a hint of the vinegar’s acidic bite, but not too much as they only soak for a short time.
Why these chocolate cherry brownies are naturally gluten free
Making a brownie gluten-free is relatively simple. You just use chickpea flour, also called garbanzo bean flour instead of wheat flour. It is a nutrient-dense flour made from ground, dry chickpeas. And chickpea flour happens to be naturally gluten-free.
How do you use chickpea flour in baking?
You can make your own garbanzo flour at home with a Vitamix blender or a grain mill. But I prefer to just buy the packaged Bob’s Red Mill organic garbanzo bean flour. To use it in this brownie recipe, just follow the instructions below.
The ground chickpeas not only add great weight and texture to the brownie batter but they bring a faint, earthy note that helps keep the brownies from becoming too sweet. Of course, that’s what they do to the flavor profile. From a health standpoint, they add protein and fiber where there would be none if you use bleached, white flour.
However, keep in mind, if you’re going to try using chickpea flour as a substitution in other baking recipes, that this flour is more dense than white flour and you will need to adjust the amount used or you will wind up with cakes and cookies that feel like lead.
To make gluten free vegan brownies
One final note about this cherry and chocolate brownies recipe, it’s one that can easily be tailored to a plant-based lifestyle. The most important step is finding an outstanding vegan chocolate to use for the chocolate chunks. Once you have the right chocolate, just use a vegan butter substitute in place of the butter, use a plant-based egg substitute, or replace the eggs with silken tofu if you prefer. (One-quarter cup of pureed tofu is equal to one egg.)
Lastly, make sure that your sugar is vegan-friendly, (in other words, a sugar that isn’t processed with bone char).
Why this is the sexiest brownie recipe
As you may have guessed, since this recipe for brownies with cherries is from a cookbook called Eat Cake Naked, that this is a baking recipe designed for seduction. Which means that it is layered with aphrodisiac ingredients.
For starters, there are tangy, dried cherries soaked in balsamic vinegar. The cherries help give the brownies moisture and an added chewy texture as well as their sweet tang.
Then there are the walnuts for crunch and to keep the brownies from tasting too sweet. Of course, walnuts are also among the world’s greatest aphrodisiacs.
And do I even need to highlight the signature ingredient? Chocolate, as I’m sure you already know, is an aphrodisiac of ancient repute. But by using dark chocolate, this chocolate cherry brownies recipe increases the aphrodisiac benefits. That’s because the darker the chocolate, the greater the antioxidant content. You can learn more about all the health potential of dark chocolate in my dictionary of aphrodisiac foods.
Will baking these sexy brownies for your partner start a fire of passion? Why don’t you bake a batch and find out!
Super Sexy Balsamic Cherry Chocolate Brownies
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Roughly chop the dried cherries into halves or quarters. Put them in a small bowl and bathe them with the balsamic. Let them rest while you make the brownie batter.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until you have a smooth river of chocolate goodness.
- Stir in the vanilla and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the walnuts, sugar, flour and salt. Stir in the chocolate mixture.
- Crack the eggs one at a time into a separate bowl and add them to the brownie batter. Stir until just combined.
- Strain the balsamic from the cherries then fold the cherries, along with the chocolate chunks, into the batter.
- Pour the mixture into a greased 8-inch x 8-inch pan.* Note: the batter will be thick.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is just set. Be careful not to overbake—these are ultra-ooey, gooey brownies.
- 10. To cut, dip your knife in hot water then cut through the brownies. This will help prevent sticking, as these brownies are super moist and luscious.
Love the recipe? Get the whole cookbook! Eat Cake Naked is available for download from Amazon and all other major ebook retailers.
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