Brownies have always been a favorite dessert of mine. Especially when they’re decadently fudgy and over the top chocolatey. In fact, I am firmly team no cakey brownies. So if that’s your ideal brownie texture, you might want to close this tab, because you will not find it here. I’ve been wanting to make Black Forest brownies for a while. The combination just makes so much sense to me in brownie form. Now that cherries have started popping up at the grocery store, I figured the time had finally come! It actually worked out great, because my husband’s birthday was this past weekend and he loves Black Forest cake so it made for the perfect celebratory treat.
Can I use jarred cherries?
Normally I’d implore you to use fresh cherries, but in this case, jarred are totally fine. They’ll even allow you to skip a step! You see, the cherries I’ve used in these brownies are soaked in Kirsch liqueur (also called Kirschwasser). In this recipe, I’ll ask you to soak the pitted and quartered cherries in this Kirsch for at least a half hour. This will allow the cherries to soak up the liqueur and just takes them to the next level. If you can’t find Kirsch or just don’t want to buy a whole bottle of booze, however, jarred cherries will do just fine. Some are soaked in alcohol (jars of Kirsch soaked cherries actually exist), while others are stored in non-alcoholic liquids. While the alcohol will cook out of the cherries, if you’re worried about it, simply use cherries soaked in syrup. I promise I won’t tell.
So what is Kirsch?
Kirsch, or Kirschwasser is a clear, colorless brandy that’s made with morello cherries. Kirschwasser actually means cherry water in German! In addition to being used in Black Forest cakes, Kirsch is commonly used in cherries jubilee, chocolate covered cherries, and simply drank as an aperitif.
What kind of chocolate should I use?
I’m going to recommend baking chocolate for these. Or the darkest chocolate you can find. I’m talking like 60-70%. It’s not very sweet, but that’s where the sugar in the recipe comes in. I wouldn’t recommend using milk chocolate for this, as it’s simply too sweet.
What if I don’t have a double boiler?
No big deal. Do you have a heat resistant mixing bowl and a medium saucepan? If so, add a couple inches of water to the saucepan and then place the mixing bowl on top of it. You now have a double boiler.
Sinful Fudgy Black Forest Brownies
- 1 cup Cherries (Pitted and quartered)
- 3 tbsp Kirsch liqueur
- 1 cup Butter (Unsalted)
- 9 oz Baking chocolate (70%)
- 1 cup Granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup Light brown sugar
- 4 Large eggs (3 full eggs will go into the batter along with 1 egg yolk. Reserve the white from this last egg for the cream cheese topping!)
- 3/4 cup All purpose flour
- 1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 4 oz Cream cheese (At room temperature)
- Add the pitted and quartered cherries and 3 tbsp Kirsch to a small mixing bowl. Toss to coat and then let sit for at least 30 minues, tossing a few more times as you wait.
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Line a 9" square baking pan with parchment paper, then set to the side.
- Chop the baking chocolate and butter into chunks. Then using a double boiler, melt them together over medium heat, sritting every so often. Once the butter and baking chocolate are fully melted and combined, remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.Note: if you don't have a double boiler you can make an impromptu version by placing a heat proof bowl over a pot of boiling water. Just make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl!
- Whisk together 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup light brown sugar and 3 full eggs, along with 1 extra yolk (save the egg white for later) until it's light and creamy. I like to use my stand mixer for this but you can do it by hand.
- Add the chocolate sauce to the sugar and eggs and stir to combine.
- Gently mix in the cocoa powder, flour, and salt until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Drain the cherries, reserving the extra liquid in the bowl for later. Then fold the cherries into the brownie batter. Pour the brownie batter into your prepared pan.
- Now make the cherry cream cheese topping. Add the reserved cherry liquid, cream cheese, egg white, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar to a food processor and blitz until smooth.
- Spoon cream cheese mixture onto the top of the brownie batter and use a toothpick to create swirls. Continue until you're satisfied with the swirly pattern on top. Pro tip: You can also use a spoon to create small indentations in the batter so that you can add bigger pools of cream cheese!
- Bake for 23-25 minutes or until the middle is a little bit wobbly when you give it a jiggle. The brownies might seem underbaked, bu they'll firm up as they cool. Let them cool to about room temperature before cutting. Or spoon onto a plate and eat with ice cream immediately. Your choice!
If you’re a fan of cherries and chocolate, I think you’ll like these Black Forest brownies. If you give them a try, let me know how you liked them in the comments or on Instagram! l always love hearing from you.
Oh, and if you’re looking for more ways to indulge, check out my chocolate chip skillet cookie filled with miso caramel or my dark chocolate brownies with a blue cheese swirl!