Amarena cherry brownies

This Christmas, we were at our grandparents’ house in France and made this delicious dessert. My mom brought a jar of amarena cherries and we decided to bake these brownies with them. The intense candy-like taste of amarena cherries is great with chocolate.

The original amerena cherries from the Italian company Fabbri come in beautiful white and blue jars. I like the story about the origin of the cherries and the jars. At the beginning of the 20th century, Gennaro Fabbri’s wife, Rachele, invented the amarena cherry recipe made with bitter black cherries. To thank his wife, Gennaro bought a ceramic jar from a local artist: the famous white and blue ceramic jar.

Makes 16 brownies
Action Time: 40 minutes

200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate (about 70%), in pieces
150 g (5.5 oz/ 11 tbsp butter), cut into pieces
175 g (6 oz) sugar
3 tbsp amarena cherry syrup (from the amarena cherry jar)
3 eggs
75 g (2.5 oz) flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
50 g (1.75 oz) almonds, coarsely chopped
25-30 amarena cherries (from the jar), drained

Topping:
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
50 g (1.75 oz) white chocolate, in pieces
1 tsp coconut oil

Extra: electric handmixer, square baking pan (about 23 cm/ 9 inch), parchment paper, fine-mesh sieve, decoration pen

1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F). Grease the pan and cover the bottom with parchment paper. Combine chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (au bain marie). Stir until the chocolate has melted. Remove the chocolate from the heat and let cool for 3 minutes.

2. Whisk in the sugar, amarena cherry syrup, and a pinch of salt. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking until incorporated. Add flour, baking powder, cocoa, almonds, and the amarena cherries; fold in with a spatula until just combined.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until set, about 25-30 minutes. Do not bake the cake too long or it will get dry. A cake tester inserted in the center should come out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and let cool.

4. Place 1 tbsp cocoa in a fine-mess sieve and dust over the brownie. Combine white chocolate and coconut butter in a small heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (au bain marie). Stir until chocolate is melted and remove from the heat. Fill the decorating pen with the melted white chocolate and decorate the top of the brownie with it. Put in the fridge until white chocolate is set. Cut the cake into 16 squares.

TIPS

-I think brownies are best when they are chewy, slightly fluffy with a light crumb. I do not like brownies to be super fudgy (too heavy!).The baking time greatly affects the texture of brownies. When you bake your brownies too long they become dry and too cakey.

-Be patient! Brownies are better the next day.

-If you like your brownies more compact, you can keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge.

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