Roasted Cherry Dark Chocolate Brownies

Inspiration can arrive without a moment's notice. Like a lighting bolt illuminating the sky and racing towards the ground, inspiration strikes equally. When I am inspired with a new and unique idea, it hits like a punch to the gut, all-encompassing and demanding attention. True inspiration isn't just a light bulb switching on above your head. It is too powerful. If true inspiration struck, the light bulb would burst into a fireworks display that would light up the night sky.

These brownies were my inspiration.

Rarely am I struck out of the blue with unique and delicious ideas. Chances are you've already eaten most of the recipes I feature on this blog, or a variation thereof. You may not have set out to make them yourself, but I find that it's hard to surprise people with a new take on an old recipe or idea. That's not to say I certainly don't try to keep you on your toes and surprise you once in awhile. I'm just saying it's difficult to re-invent the chocolate chip cookie.

When I got the idea for these brownies, I immediately went to the internet to see if it had been done before and with any luck. There are recipes for dark chocolate brownies, brownies with dried cherries, and brownies with cherry preserves. Combining cherry and dark chocolate certainly isn't a new idea, but no one, as far as I can tell, has ever put roasted cherries in a brownie and decided to share the tale.

Let me tell you, this needs to be remedied as soon as possible.

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Roasted Cherry Dark Chocolate Brownies are like brownies sent down from the dessert gods themselves. The dark chocolate base of these brownies is so unbelievably moist and decadent. As soon as the brownie hits your tongue, it melts into a gooey, chocolaty mess that sticks to the roof of your mouth like a spoonful of peanut butter. When combined with the rich sweetness of caramelized roasted cherries (like in this ice cream), you might feel tears come to your eyes. These really are that good. I would never lie to you about something so serious as a good, quality dessert. These are the best brownies I have ever eaten (and I've eaten some good ones).

No one in my house can get these brownies off of their minds and, several times a day, someone will sneak up with a fork to subtly steal a bite (or ten). You will want a tall glass of milk with these. Oh, and another brownie.

One Year Ago: Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Roasted Cherry Dark Chocolate Brownies

1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved
2 1/2 cups (1 lb) dark chocolate, chopped in pieces
1/2 cup salted butter
4 eggs
1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

In a small roasting pan, combine the fresh cherries and 1 tablespoon sugar. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the cherries start releasing juices. Remove cherries from baking pan and place in the refrigerator to cool down.

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x9 inch baking dish (if you use a larger pan, decrease the baking time; likewise, if you use a smaller pan, increase the baking time).

In a double boiler, melt together the dark chocolate and butter until smooth. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla extract until well blended. Add the melted chocolate and mix until incorporated. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the cooled, roasted cherries. Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until brownies do not jiggle in the center when the pan is shaken (even when baked completely, a toothpick may not come out clean). Do not overbake! These brownies are best when slightly under-baked.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.