Indulgence meets perfection in the most irresistible way possible - salted chocolate cherry brownies. Picture this: luscious, fudgy brownies infused with the intense sweetness of cherries and crowned with a delicate sprinkling of sea salt. Are you salivating yet? Trust me, you're about to embark on a mouthwatering journey of flavors and textures that will leave you craving more.
There's something irresistible about the combination of chocolate and cherries. The rich, velvety cocoa mingling with the burst of tartness from the cherries creates a symphony of taste that tantalize your taste buds with every bite. And when you add a touch of salt to the equation, the flavors reach new heights, balancing the sweetness and enhancing the overall experience.
But let's not forget about the brownie itself, the canvas upon which this delectable masterpiece is created. These brownies are the epitome of decadence - dense and fudgy on the inside, with a beautifully crackled top that promises a satisfyingly chewy texture. The chocolatey aroma that wafts through your kitchen as they bake is enough to make your mouth water in anticipation.
In this blog post, I'm going to guide you through the process of creating these heavenly salted chocolate cherry brownies. Whether you're a seasoned baker or a kitchen newbie, making salted chocolate cherry brownies is a delightful adventure that promises to satisfy your sweet tooth and impress even the most discerning taste buds.
Salted Chocolate Cherry Brownies
1. To prepare, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and apply a light coating of coconut oil to an 8x8-inch baking dish, or alternatively, line it with parchment paper.
2. Combine the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and sea salt in a medium-sized bowl, whisking them together until thoroughly blended. Set the mixture aside.
3. In a separate large bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, maple syrup (or honey), unsweetened applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until the ingredients are well incorporated.
4. Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture into the wet mixture, stirring until you have a smooth batter. Exercise caution to avoid overmixing.
5. Carefully incorporate the cherries and chocolate chips into the batter, ensuring they are evenly dispersed as you fold them in.
6. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish, ensuring an even distribution by spreading it out.
7. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center reveals a few moist crumbs. Take care not to overbake; this will help preserve a fudgy texture.
8. Take the brownies out of the oven and let them cool in the pan for approximately 10 minutes. Afterward, carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. After the brownies have cooled down, lightly sprinkle a pinch of coarse sea salt onto the surface. This will enhance the flavor and provide that irresistible salty-sweet contrast.
10. Cut the brownies into square pieces, serve, and savor the delightful flavors! If there are any leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.
Don't overmix the batter: When blending the wet and dry ingredients together, mix them until they are just combined. Overmixing can result in denser brownies. Stir until there are no apparent flour streaks, but refrain from excessive stirring.
Properly measure the flour: When measuring the all-purpose flour, use a spoon to scoop it into the measuring cup and then level it off with a knife. This method helps prevent excess flour, resulting in a better brownie texture.
Underbake slightly: For fudgy brownies, slightly underbaked them. The toothpick inserted into the center should emerge with a few moist crumbs but not entirely clean. Remember that the brownies will continue to cook as they cool in the pan.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.7g
Saturated Fat 4.9g
Total Carbohydrate 18.2g
Dietary Fiber 1.6g
Total Sugars 7.1g
Vitamin D 3mcg
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Storage and freshness: To preserve any leftover brownies, place them in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for a few days. For an extended shelf life, you may also refrigerate them. If desired, warm the brownies slightly before serving for that fresh-from-the-oven taste.
How to Store Leftovers
Room Temperature Storage: If you plan to consume the brownies within a few days, they can be stored at room temperature. Ensure that the airtight container is stored in a cool and dry location, shielded from direct sunlight and heat sources. Properly stored, they should remain fresh for 2-3 days.
Refrigeration: If you expect to store the brownies for an extended period, it is recommended to refrigerate them. Place the airtight container in the fridge, ensuring it is sealed tightly. Refrigerated brownies can maintain their quality for up to a week. Note that refrigeration can slightly affect the texture, making the brownies denser, but they will still be enjoyable.
Freezing: For even longer storage, consider freezing the brownies. Carefully wrap each individual portion with plastic wrap or place them in a freezer-safe container, ensuring to separate each layer with parchment paper. Frozen brownies can maintain their quality for up to 2-3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature before serving.
What Ingredients You Will Need To Make These Salted Chocolate Cherry Brownies
All-purpose flour is an essential ingredient in baking, crafted by blending hard and soft wheat varieties to achieve a balanced protein content. It provides structure to the brownies and contributes to their soft and tender texture.
Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
Using Dutch-processed cocoa powder in a salted chocolate cherry brownie recipe can provide a distinct flavor and visual appeal. In comparison to natural cocoa powder, Dutch-processed cocoa powder offers a gentler and less acidic flavor profile. It offers a smooth and velvety chocolate flavor with subtle caramel notes. Incorporating Dutch cocoa powder into the brownie recipe can result in a more balanced and less bitter chocolate taste, allowing the other flavors, such as cherries and sea salt, to shine through.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder adds a deep, rich brown color to the brownie batter. This can result in visually appealing brownies with a darker hue. The contrast of the dark brown color against the vibrant cherries and the sprinkle of sea salt can make the brownies even more enticing.
If you're aiming for a slightly healthier option, consider using cacao powder instead of cocoa powder. While both cacao powder and cocoa powder come from the same cacao bean, cacao powder undergoes less processing, making it a more wholesome choice.
Baking powder, a leavening agent used in baking, aids in the slight rising of the brownies while they bake. It consists of a blend of baking soda, cream of tartar, and a moisture-absorbing component. The baking powder reacts with the other ingredients, creating air bubbles that contribute to a lighter texture in the brownies.
Sea salt is obtained through the evaporation of seawater and possesses a distinctive flavor enriched by trace minerals. A pinch of sea salt adds depth and complexity to the brownies, balancing the sweetness and intensifying the chocolate and cherry flavors. It also helps elevate the overall taste experience by providing a subtle touch of saltiness.
Coconut oil is a plant-based fat that adds moisture and richness to fudgy chocolate cherry brownies. It has a distinctly tropical aroma, and flavor can subtly complement the chocolate and cherries. Coconut oil is recognized for its potential health advantages due to its composition of medium-chain fatty acids.
Pure Maple Syrup or Honey
Swap your granulated sugar with maple syrup, honey, or other natural sweeteners. Pure maple syrup and honey are natural sweeteners that add sweetness to the brownies. Pure maple syrup is obtained from the sap of maple trees, whereas honey is crafted by bees using flower nectar. Both choices contribute a unique flavor profile that elevates the overall taste of the brownies. They are healthier alternatives to refined sugars and can lend a touch of complexity to the dessert.
Unsweetened applesauce is a commonly used alternative to oil or butter in baking recipes. It adds moisture and helps bind the ingredients together without adding excess fat. Applesauce also contributes natural sweetness to the brownies while providing a hint of fruity flavor.
Eggs are vital in baking, as they contribute to the structural integrity, moisture, and richness of the brownies. They help bind the ingredients together and add a tender texture. Eggs additionally contribute to the browning and leavening of the brownies as they bake.
Pure Vanilla Extract
Pure vanilla extract is produced by steeping vanilla beans in alcohol, resulting in a rich and aromatic flavor that adds a delightful dimension to the brownies and elevates the overall taste experience. The subtle hints of vanilla can help balance the chocolate's richness and accentuate the cherries' flavors.
Fresh or Frozen Cherries
Sweet cherries are the star ingredient in these brownies, offering bursts of sweet-tart juiciness of cherry flavor. Fresh cherries, when in season, provide optimal flavor and texture. If fresh cherries are not available, frozen cherries can be used as a convenient substitute. Ensure the cherries are pitted and halved before incorporating them into the brownie batter.
When it comes to cherries, choosing organic is highly recommended, and it should be a priority for you! Cherries have made it to the EWG Dirty Dozen list. If you're not familiar with the Dirty Dozen list, it highlights the foods that have tested positive for various pesticide residues and contain higher concentrations of pesticides compared to other produce.
Based on the EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, more than 90 percent of samples for strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines, and kale were found to contain traces of two or more pesticides.
By choosing organic cherries, you can reduce your potential exposure to potentially harmful pesticides. Organic farming practices prioritize using natural methods and avoiding synthetic pesticides, providing a healthier and more environmentally friendly choice. So, when it comes to cherries, make sure to choose organic for a cleaner and safer eating experience!
Coarse Sea Salt
Coarse sea salt refers to larger salt crystals that provide a satisfying crunch when sprinkled on top of the brownies. It adds bursts of saltiness that contrast with the sweetness of the chocolate and cherries, creating a delightful flavor balance. The coarse texture of the salt crystals also adds an interesting visual element to the finished chocolatey brownies.
Dark chocolate chips
Adding dark chocolate chips to chocolate brownies can take their indulgence factor to a whole new level. Dark chocolate chips bring additional richness, depth, and bursts of intense chocolate flavor to the already delicious combination of chocolate and cherries.
While dark chocolate is beloved by many, its intense flavor may not be to everyone's taste. If you prefer a milder chocolate flavor, feel free to make a substitution in the recipe and use milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips instead. These options offer a sweeter and creamier taste compared to dark chocolate. Since it's all about personal preference, don't hesitate to customize the recipe according to your own taste and preferences. Whether you choose dark, milk, or semi-sweet chocolate chips, the salted chocolate cherry brownies will still be a delightful treat that you can enjoy to the fullest.
How to elevate salted chocolate cherry brownies
Infuse with Liqueur
Add a touch of elegance by incorporating a liqueur that pairs well with chocolate, such as cherry liqueur or orange liqueur. Add a tablespoon or two to the brownie batter for a subtle boozy twist.
Enhance the texture by adding chopped nuts, such as toasted almonds or hazelnuts, to the brownie batter. The nutty crunch will provide a delightful contrast to the fudgy texture and complement the chocolate and cherry flavors.
Infuse the batter with a burst of freshness by adding citrus zest to enhance the flavor. Grate the zest of an orange or lemon and mix it in for a subtle citrus aroma that complements the chocolate and cherries.
Add a touch of a floral note
If you want to add a floral or citrus flavor to elevate your salted chocolate cherry brownies, consider incorporating rose water or orange blossom water.
Rose water is a fragrant liquid created through the distillation of rose petals, resulting in a delightful floral essence. It imparts a subtle floral essence to dishes. When used sparingly, rose water can add a delicate floral note that complements the chocolate's richness and the cherries' sweetness. Start by adding a teaspoon or two of rose water to the brownie batter and adjust according to your preference. Exercise caution to avoid overpowering the other flavors, as rose water possesses a potent nature.
Orange blossom water is obtained through the distillation of blossoms sourced from orange trees. It offers a distinctive citrusy and floral aroma. Adding a small amount of orange blossom water to the brownie batter can provide a subtle hint of citrus that pairs well with chocolate and cherries. Start with a teaspoon and adjust to taste.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I use frozen cherries instead of fresh ones in cherry brownies?
Yes, you can use frozen cherries as a convenient alternative to fresh cherries in cherry brownies. Before adding them to the batter, ensure that the frozen cherries are thawed and drained properly. This step will prevent any excess moisture in the brownies.
Can I replace all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour in cherry brownies?
Yes, you can try substituting all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend in cherry brownies. However, please note that the texture and results may vary due to the absence of gluten. To preserve the structure and texture of the brownies, it is advisable to utilize a gluten-free flour blend that is specifically designed for baking purposes.
How do I know when the cherry brownies are done baking?
The baking duration for cherry brownies can vary based on the recipe and oven. A reliable method to determine doneness is by inserting a toothpick into the center, which should come out with a few moist crumbs. The brownies should have set edges while remaining slightly gooey in the middle. Keep in mind that they will continue to cook during the cooling process, so take care not to overbake them.
Should I use sweet or tart cherries for cherry brownies?
The choice between sweet or tart cherries depends on personal preference. Sweet cherries provide a natural sweetness that pairs well with the chocolate, while tart cherries add a tangy flavor that can create a nice contrast. Feel free to choose either variety or even combine both to match your personal taste preferences.
How do I prevent the cherries from sinking to the bottom of the brownies?
To avoid the cherries sinking to the bottom of the brownies, lightly dust them with flour before incorporating them into the batter. This helps to distribute the cherries more evenly throughout the brownies, reducing the likelihood of sinking.