Rich Chocolate Brownies with Cherries in Port
SERVES 8 SUPER EASY
100 g. dark chocolate, melted
70 g. plain flour
100 g. icing sugar
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
70 g. unsalted butter, melted
30 g. golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 ml (7 fl oz) Port
200 ml (7 fl oz) water
250 g (9 oz) sugar
1 slice lemon
I slice orange
½ vanilla pod (or I tablespoon vanilla extract)
400 g (/4 oz) fresh ripe cherries
Preheat oven to 170’C.
Grease a 16cm x 16 cm. x 4 – 5 cm. baking tin. Set aside.
Stir the melted chocolate together with the melted butter until well blended. Next stir in the golden syrup, followed by the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract. Stir gently but well to ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated together.
Sift together all of the dry ingredients, and fold this into the above mix. Do not over stir, just until evenly mixed. Pour into the greased baking tin, and place in the centre of the oven. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. The edges will be crisp and pulling away from the edges of the pan. The middle should be firm, and bounce back if pressed lightly with the tip of a finger. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to release the brownie from the tin, and unmold onto a tray by turning the whole tin over, and leave to cool before cutting into individual size portions.
Place the port in a pan and bring it to the boil, then reduce it by half. Add the water, sugar, lemon, orange, and vanilla
pod. When the liquid has returned to the boil, poach the cherries in this, gently simmering, for about 10–15 minutes. Set aside
to let the flavours infuse.
If the poaching syrup is thin, strain it off the cherries, and return it to the heat. Reduce it by one third, until it is at light sauce
consistancy. If over–reduced, it will turn bitter. If you still feel the syrup is too thin, dissolve the corn flour in a spoonful or two
of cold water, and stir it into the reduction. Let this boil for another minute, then remove it from the heat and pour it over the cherries.
The corn flour may or may not be necessary, depending on the cherries, and also on how you prefer your sauces!
These brownies stay moist and fresh for at least a couple days if kept airtight. You could place them in a tupper ware style container, or wrap them up individually in double layers of cling film. They don’t need any sauce or cream as they are so moist and tender, but of course should you have cream or ice cream, they will go fantastically well with either.