A thick and fudgy brownie that melts in your mouth that is filled with chocolate chips and cherries, AND topped with a whipped chocolate ganache?! Sign me up. These black forest (aka chocolate cherry) brownies are super decadent, fudgy, so easy to make, packed with semi-sweet chocolate and roasted cherries, and topped with chocolate ganache.
Why you will love these black forest brownies
- The brownie. Brownies are hands down my favorite dessert of all time. I am a chocolate lover at heart, so a decadent and rich chocolate brownie is what I live for. The brownie layer is exactly that. It is, thick, fudgy, and basically melts in your mouth.
- The cherries. The start ingredient! We use 2 cups of fresh cherries in this recipe. It adds a phenomenal flavor to the chocolatey-ness.
- The whipped chocolate ganache. And to make things even better, we top off these brownies with a delectable whipped chocolate ganache. it is silky smooth and so delicious.
- Cherries: the star ingredient! Fresh cherries are preferred in this recipe - we need about 2 cups.
- All purpose flour: all purpose flour is the flour of choice for these brownies. It makes for the perfect soft and tender texture.
- Cocoa powder: both regular unsweetened cocoa powder or dark (dutch processed) cocoa powder work in these brownies! Use one, or the other, or a mix of both! But make sure to use good quality cocoa.
- Unsalted butter: unsalted butter is the butter of choice so we can control exactly how much salt goes into the recipe. We use A LOT of butter in this brownie recipe, so make sure to splurge on the good stuff.
- Sugar: we use brown sugar to give sweetness and moisture.
- Eggs: we use four eggs in this recipe for a super fudgy and chewy texture.
- Amoretti black cherry flavoring: this is optional, but totally recommended. Just a little goes a long way and it adds such a depth of cherry flavor!
- Semi-sweet chocolate: we use semi-sweet chocolate chips in the batter and a chopped semi-sweet chocolate bar for the ganache. So make sure to use good quality!
- Heavy cream: heavy cream is used for the ganache.
- Roast the cherries. Pit the cherries and cut them each into quarters. Place on a baking sheet with a sprinkle of sugar and roast for 20 minutes at 400F. Let cool while you make the brownie batter.
- Make the brownie batter. Melt together the butter and brown sugar and whisk until combined. Add your eggs one at a time, whisking in between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and black cherry flavoring (if using) and mix until combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and whisk together until a batter forms. Add the chocolate chips and roasted cherries and fold until combined.
- Bake. Pour the batter into an 8x8 inch pan and bake for 50-60 minutes at 350F. These brownies take a little bit longer to bake due to the moisture in the cherries.
- Make the chocolate ganache. Finely chop your chocolate and place it in a heat proof bowl. Heat the heavy cream over the stove on medium heat until bubbles begin to form at the edge of the pan. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 3-4 minutes. Gently stir the cream and chocolate together until combined.
- Whip the ganache. Let the ganache cool in the fridge for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to ensure an even temperature. Once thick, beat the ganache until whipped.
- Enjoy! Frost the cooled brownies with the ganache. Slice and enjoy! Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Black forest brownie baking tips
Use a cherry pitter.
I am not one to fill up my kitchen with useless kitchen gadgets, but a cherry pitter comes SO in handy when cooking/baking with cherries. We need 2 cups of cherries in this recipe, and it will definitely save time if you have this useful tool.
Don't over mix.
Over mixing the brownie batter can cause the brownies to sink in the middle. Make sure to only mix the brownies until the dry ingredients are just incorporated, not any longer.
Don't over bake.
Brownies continue to bake even when they are removed from the oven, so the centers may still seem a little underdone when you take them out.
With most baked goods, they are finished baking when they are "golden brown." This is obviously hard to tell with a dark dessert like brownies, so look at the texture instead. The edges will be set and slightly peeling away from the sides of the pan and the center will be puffed up.
Roast the cherries.
Don't skip this step! Roasting the cherries prior to baking releases some juices that would otherwise release in the brownies. This is important because if you don't pre-roast them, the cherries will release a lot of moisture into your brownies, which will then take a very long time to bake or you will end up with underbaked brownies (which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world!).
Use a warm knife to slice the brownies.
The best way to get smooth, clean cuts is by using a warm knife. Run a sharp knife under hot water for 20 seconds, then wipe dry. Slice the brownies while the knife is still hot - the hot knife will cut nicely through the ganache and brownie. Wipe the knife clean in between each cut and repeat!
Baking in grams
While I provide volume measurements for the recipes on my blog, I highly suggest baking these recipes using weight. It is the most standardized and accurate way to bake. I carefully recipe test all of my recipes using a kitchen scale, not by using cups, and therefore I cannot guarantee the success of my recipes when using volume measurements.
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Black Forest Chocolate Cherry Brownies
- 2 cups (250 grams) pitted fresh cherries
- sprinkle of sugar
- ¾ cup (94 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups (120 grams) cocoa powder unsweetened regular cocoa powder or dutch processed cocoa powder works!
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups (283 grams) unsalted butter
- 2 ½ cups (500 grams) brown sugar
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Amoretti black cherry flavoring optional
- ¾ cup (135 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Whipped Chocolate Ganache
- ½ cup (120 grams) heavy cream
- 4 oz (113 grams) semi-sweet chocolate (equal to one Ghirardelli chocolate bar) chopped
- Preheat oven to 400F and set aside a baking sheet. Pit your cherries then cut them into quarters (in half then in half again). Put them on the baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Roast for 20 minutes. This is a key step as it will release some of the juices in the cherries - if this step is skipped, there will be too much moisture in the brownies and they will take a very long time to bake.
- Let the cherries cool while you make the brownie batter. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F and line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Melt the two together in the microwave in 30 second increments, whisking in between each increment. I typically microwave it 4-5 times. Whisk them together until smooth. You can also melt them together on the stove.
- Add your eggs, one at a time, whisking in between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and black cherry flavoring (if using) and whisk until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and whisk until a batter forms. Add the chocolate chips and cooled cherries and fold to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the edges are set. These brownies take a little bit longer to bake due to the moisture in the cherries. Let the brownies cool completely.
Whipped Chocolate Ganache
- While the brownies are baking/cooling, make the whipped ganache. Finely chop your chocolate and put it in a heat proof bowl. Set aside.
- Warm the heavy cream over the stove on medium heat until gently simmering and bubbles form at the edges of the pan. Pour the warmed heavy cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 3-4 minutes. The warmed heavy cream will melt the chocolate.
- Gently stir the cream and chocolate together until completely combined and smooth. Let the ganache cool in the fridge for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so the consistency remains the same throughout. It will thicken up to a buttercream texture.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or a large bowl if using a hand held mixer, beat the ganache until whipped.
- Once the brownies are cool, frost them with the ganache. Slice and enjoy!
- Make sure to measure/weigh out the cherries AFTER they are pitted.
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!