I elevated one of my favorite brownie recipes and added a layer of cherry frosting and ganache on top. These chocolate cherry brownies are thick, fudgy, and super decadent!
Last weekend, my whole family felt a bit blah. The reasoning is that all three of us got our COVID boosters and flu shots (at the same time). As a result, we lounged around on the couch all day and watched TV. Some of us (OK, all of us) fell asleep at some point since our bodies were tired.
For some reason, my body wasn’t as tired as I thought it was going to be. I didn’t get any side effects from either of the shots and felt pretty normal, other than the soreness from the spot where I got the vaccine. My husband asked me at some point during the day, “Are you making dessert this weekend?” I had forgotten (!!) to look up a recipe for the weekend so I improvised. He reminded me about the jar of maraschino cherries in the refrigerator, so I decided to turn it into a cherry frosting for some brownies.
For these, I used one of my favorite brownie recipes and added the cherry frosting on top. Then I finished it off with a layer of chocolate ganache. Normally, I would do a harder chocolate layer, but it annoys me when the chocolate cracks after I slice into it (I even use the hot knife trick to make my slices, yet the chocolate still seems to shatter elsewhere in the pan).
Even though the three of us weren’t feeling 100%, two of us were able to work up an appetite for these brownies after dinner. They were thick, fudgy and really decadent. Both my husband and I thought that these needed more cherry flavor. Next time, I’d chop up even more cherries and consider adding in some cherry extract. Otherwise, they were pretty fantastic and a great treat after the lazy day that we experienced.
Husband’s rating: 4 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Chocolate cherry brownies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 sticks (24 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 6 Tablespoons unflavored oil I used canola
- 3 cups granulated sugar divided
- 4 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- 1 and ½ cups chocolate chips
- 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 10-15 maraschino cherries stemmed and chopped into pieces
- a few teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
Make the brownies
- Preheat your oven to 350℉. Generously grease or line a 9"x13" baking pan and set aside (if you don't want this many brownies, this recipe can be halved).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and espresso powder if using. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the oil and 1 cup of the sugar over medium heat. Stir constantly until the butter has fully melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the eggs and egg yolk with the remaining 2 cups of sugar on medium speed for about 1 minute.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly stream in the melted butter mixture until it is fully incorporated.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until a few dry streaks remain. Add in the chocolate chips and mix until everything just comes together. Do not over mix. Alternatively, you can fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the top appears shiny. The middle may appear slightly underbaked, and that is OK. The brownies will continue to set as they cool.
- Allow the brownies to cool before adding the cherry frosting on top. I'd recommend placing them in the refrigerator to cool completely before assembling (at least 2 hours).
Make the cherry frosting
- In the bowl of a clean stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar. Add the cream and mix well.
- Add in the cherries and the cherry juice and mix well. If the frosting seems too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it seems too thick, add more heavy cream. You want this to be soft and frost-able.
- Once the brownies have fully cooled, add the frosting on top. Smooth it out with a spatula as best as you can. Be sure to cover all the corners too.
Make the ganache
- Place the chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Put the heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl (I used a glass measuring cup). Microwave for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes or until the heavy cream starts simmering.
- Pour the heated cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for about 2 minutes. Then whisk vigorously. The chocolate chips will begin to melt and will thicken as it cools.
- Once the ganache has thickened a bit, pour it over the cherry frosting. Make sure you don't do this when the ganache is super hot or else it will melt the frosting. Use an offset spatula to spread the ganache evenly. Try to cover up most of the cherry frosting if you can.
- Place the brownies in the refrigerator and allow them to cool completely.
- Once the ganache has set, slice and serve. To get clean slices, wipe your knife in between each cut.