The best ever cherry brownies

Here we go again, another brownie recipe on the internet.. You must think, why do I need another brownie recipe? There are sooo many out there! Well I shall tell you why. A good brownie is a household staple. You can never have enough brownies in your life. In my case, you can alway wake me up for a good brownie. But that is only if it's truly a good brownie. A brownie should have just the right amount of gooeyness with a little crunch on the side. It should hae a lovely dept of chocolate flavor, not overwhelmingly sweet and a little bit salty with a generous sprinkle of fleur de sel. But most of all a brownie should not be dry, but a little firm when set.

It took me a long time to find a good brownie recipe which ticked all of the boxes. I ran into a recipe of the goddess of the home kitchen, Nigella Lawson, which ticked nearly all those boxes. I tweaked it a bit to make sure it met my high brownie standards and I am here to share it with you all. Be sure to give this one a go. The basic recipe is versatile and can be adapted to your liking by adding nuts, fruits or other spices. Just be sure you use the best quality chocolate you can find within your budget.

In this batch I added one of my favorite fruits, cherries and added something to enhance the dept of their flavor, Tonka Bean. Tonka bean is a spice that's available in specialty shops. It flavor reminds vaguely of vanilla, cinnamon and bitter almonds. It really brings out the cherry flavor and adds a layer of depth which can not be achieved with plain old vanilla. Since cherry season is only just a few short weeks in cold Holland, I used frozen cherries which I sprinkled still frozen on top of the chocolate goodness.

 Cherry Tonka Bean Brownies

- 375 grams unsalted butter
- 375 grams good quality chocolate, I use Valrhona Manjari 64%
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon good quality vanilla extract
- 500 grams sugar
- 225 grams of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- a generous amount of salt flakes or fleur de sel to sprinkle on top
- half a Tonka bean, finely grated (optional)
- 125 grams frozen cherries (optional)

Preheat your oven to 180 ºC or 356 ºF.

Melt the butter with the chocolate on low heat or in a bain-marie if you want to make sure it doesn't burn. I just can't be bothered with cleaning up 2 dishes so I just keep my eyes on it while it melts low and slow and set it aside to cool a bit when they are molten.
Meanwhile whip the eggs with the sugar until light, fluffy and doubled in size. Combine the all purpose flour with the salt and set aside.

When the eggs are nicely whipped, add the chocolate/butter mixture and stir until they are all combined. Sift in the flour and mix well. Now it is time to add your fruits, spices, nuts or any other special ingredients you want to add. So at this stage I grated half a Tonka bean and added my vanilla. Mix well and pour your brownie mixture in a parchment lined baking tin.
Sprinkle a generous amount of salt flakes on top and also add the frozen cherries. Bake your brownie for about 25 minutes, or until the top of the brownie has turned a pale white colour.

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