This brownie recipe is an indulgent combination of chocolate, almond, and cherries. These Black Forest Brownies are rich, chocolaty, and slightly tart from the cherries.
I pulled this recipe from the archives of my previous blog. It is cherry season after all. It's based upon the infamous and classic Black Forest Cake, but adapted to brownie form. These Black Forest Brownies look great and taste even better! Sometimes there is nothing more satisfying than a rich, chocolaty brownie, especially when you are really in need of chocolate.
Where did the Black Forest Cake originate?
It is believed that the cake originated in the Black Forest Region of Germany, a region known for its sour cherries. The inventor of the Black Forest cake is said to be a pastry chef by the name of Josef Keller. This infamous cake marries chocolate, cream, cherries, and Kirsch (a spirit made from cherries).
While this recipe does not include Kirsch, these decadent black forest brownies are modeled after the chocolate and sour cherry combination of the beloved cake.
What is in these Black Forest Brownies?
This recipe has two components: the brownies and the cherry topping. This recipe is small-batch, made in an 8-inch square baking pan.
In the Brownies
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate - These brownies have an intense chocolate flavor due to the use of both chopped semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder.
- Unsalted Butter - The butter melts alongside the semi-sweet chocolate pieces.
- Large Eggs - An essential component to the fudginess of these brownies, the large eggs are whipped until pale yellow and frothy.
- Granulated Sugar - The sugar helps balance the sour cherry flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour - There is just enough flour in this recipe to provide structure for the brownies.
- Cocoa Powder - As states above, these brownies have a lovely intense chocolate flavor from the use of two separate chocolate components.
- Baking Powder - Baking powder works along with the airy whipped eggs for leavening.
- Pure Vanilla Extract
In the Cherry Topping
- Sour Cherry Preserves - You should be able to find sour cherry preserves at most, if not all, grocery stores.
- Frozen Cherries - Frozen cherries are equally as delicious as fresh. You want to use frozen dark pitted cherries. Dark cherries are both sweet and sour, flavors that complement the dark chocolate taste of the brownies.
- Cornstarch - Cornstarch assists with the thickening of the topping.
- Almond Extract - A little goes a long way with almond extract. Be careful when measuring.
Frequently Asked Questions
The brownies themselves without the cherry topping can be frozen. The cherry topping, however, will not freeze well. So, you can make the brownie in advance and freeze them. Upon service, make the cherry topping and pour over the thawed brownies.
You can also use fresh cherries as well; however keep in mind this will affect the consistency when using this recipe, so you may have to adjust the quantity of cornstarch.
You can certainly add Kirsch, the clear cherry brandy used in the classic Black Forest recipe, to the cherry topping, but my version uses only almond extract.
Other Recipes You'll Love
These black forest brownies would pair lovely with a glass of red wine and a good book. Is that the perfect way to end your day? I think so. Comment below if you have made them and let me know what you think!
Black Forest Brownies
For the Brownies
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- ½ cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Cherry Topping
- ½ cup sour cherry preserves
- 1 cup frozen cherries pits removed
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- slivered almonds for garnish, if desired
For the Brownies
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray and parchment an 8-in square baking dish and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together over a double-boiler, stirring frequently. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
- In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar until pale yellow and frothy. Carefully pour chocolate mixture into egg mixture, beating until fully combined. Mix in vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Fold dry into wet, in three increments.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly.
For the Cherry Topping
- Place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan. Heat ingredients over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened and syrupy. Allow to cool slightly.
- Poke holes with a knife or toothpick into the cooled, but slightly warm brownies. Pour cherry syrup over the brownies and spread as needed.
- Store brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- You can melt together chocolate and butter in microwave safe dish, but keep a mindful eye not to overheat or burn the chocolate.
- Make sure your baking powder and cornstarch are fresh.