The cherry-almond combination in these chocolate brownies is perfect, adding little bursts of flavor in every bite. The only way these perfectly moist, chocolaty, fruit- and nut-filled brownies could be better is served with your favorite ice cream. From my new book, Ancient Heritage Cookies.
Double-Chocolate Fruit and Nut Brownies
Makes 16 brownies
3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour (102 grams)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (85 grams)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter (113 grams)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (250 grams)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/3 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped (59 grams)
1/3 cup toasted whole almonds, chopped (53 grams)
3/4 cup bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate chips (122 grams)
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposite edges. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom. Lightly oil the sides and bottom.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In the top of a double-boiler, over simmering water, melt unsweetened chocolate and butter. Stir constantly until chocolate and butter are fully combined and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, with speed set to high, combine eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat 2 to 3 minutes, until mixture thickens and becomes pale in color. Turn off the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, fold chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Be careful to not deflate the batter. With the rubber spatula, fold in flour mixture, in two portions. Then, carefully fold in in cherries, almonds, and chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the top is firm to touch. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack, and cool completely in the pan. When ready to serve, using the foil overhang, lift uncut brownies from pan. Cut into 16 servings.
Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days.
Baker’s Note: For a hyper-cherry flavor, substitute 1 teaspoon of cherry flavoring for the almond extract.