In honour of my older brother’s birthday, I fixed up a little brownie gift. My Brother, shameless carnivore that he is, also loves cherries, so this couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.
I’ve been planning my next brownie ever since the last Brownie Babe round up. I felt so close to tying on that apron last time, I was inspired to do even better. Luckily after Myriam’s round up, cherries came into season and I went to work on the luscious, juicy fruit. With my fingers stained red, I pitted the pint, placed them into a jar, poured over the remanence of my best French brandy in the house and a few spoonfuls of sugar. Sealed, I left them to this very moment of birthday and brownie celebration.
Perhaps it’s the drunken cherries I’d taste tested along the way, but by the time this little birthday gift of love reached it’s cooling rack destination, I knew I was already a winner. Initially I was finding it hard to figure how I’d go about creating my next brownie. There are so many hip thickening varieties of the one true cocoa delicacy, but in writing a vegan blog, I’ve theoretically stuck myself in a fridge without eggs or butter to bail me out. How does anyone make virtually the same thing again, only better? I’ve already covered off that my brownies must be fudgy, not cakey; gooey, but not uncooked and c h o c o l a t y. So with the help of Arden, who was my Blogging By Mail buddy, I had the good stuff. I had the good quality, 70% semi-sweet dark chocolate, direct from Deutschland. Now, the quality of a brownie solely lies in the quality of the chocolate in it (Kind of like cooking with wine, or in this case brandy.) and boy do I believe it. Arden’s chocolate has been so good for my 3 o’clock Sweet Sneak, but when I began to melt it down for the brownies, I could just see and smell the difference. Just in case there wasn’t quite chocolate gold, I blended the batter with a little more dutch process cocoa; can never be too careful with these things, you know.
When the batter was complete, I was ready for the cherries – oh my cherries. I’ve been sampling for doneness over the past couple of weeks and I have to say, cherries macerated in brandy are pretty “close your eyes and smile” generating. Full of cherry goodness with a backhanded burst of brandy.
This wonderful chocolate paired with the boozy cherries made for a very perfect after dinner birthday celebration or a mid afternoon pick you up kind of brownie. Decadence at it’s best.
DRUNKEN CHERRY BROWNIES
1/2 Package Silken Tofu (3/4 Cup)
1/3 Cup Margarine
1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 Cup Dutch Processed Cocoa
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar, Organic
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup Unbleached Flour, sifted
1/3 Cup Brandied Cherries, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Line the bottom of a brownie pan (9×9) with parchment paper.
Sift the flour and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend the tofu until it is just smooth.
Prepare a double boiler, or place a heat proof bowl over a simmer saucepan of water. Melt the margarine and add the chopped chocolate; stirring occasionally, until melted.
To the tofu add the cocoa, salt, sugars and vanilla; combine well.
Stir the melted chocolate into the tofu mixture.
With a spatula, fold in the flour, combining until it is just moist.
Stir in cherries, do not over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just set and shiny. (Try not to over bake or scorch the edges.)
Cool to remove the brownies from the pan.
1 pint Bing Cherries, pitted
1/4 Cup Sugar
Good French Brandy
Pit the cherries and place in a sealable container or jar.
Sprinkle over the sugar and pour over enough brandy to cover.
Seal, shake, wait.
Store in the fridge or any other cool dry place.
Shake occasionally and test, if necessary.
Sugar should dissolve and cherries should absorb the brandy anywhere from 4 – 6 weeks.