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Black Forest brownies

Decedent and rich chocolate brownies laced with a boozy black forest cherry sauce. Black forest traditionally uses Kirsch which is a German cherry brandy, but you can skip out the brandy if you want to make these booze-free.

Check out this step-by-step Masterclass video on how to make the ultimate brownies.

Check out this Masterclass video on how to make these into mailbox brownies to post.

Time to prepare: 30 minutes Time to bake: 30 minutes

Serves: 12


280g unsalted butter

280g 70% + good quality dark chocolate

300g caster sugar

3 eggs

60g plain flour

60g cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp espresso powder*

Cherry sauce

1 x jar (~370g) cherries in kirsch* drained with the liqueur reserved, I love Opies, available in most supermarkets and online

4 tbsp caster sugar

3 tbsp cherry liqueur*

2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water into a smooth paste

To serve: whipped cream or ice cream, extra cherries to garnish, chocolate shavings


  1. First, make the cherry sauce. Put your cherries in a small saucepan with the sugar and cherry liqueur* (if using). Bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cook for about 3 - 4 minutes, gently mashing the cherries with a potato masher (or the back of a spoon). Remove from the heat and add in the cornstarch mixed with water, stir until dissolved. Leave to one side, it should thicken as it cools.

  2. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C fan/180°C conventional/gas mark 4.

  3. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm (8” x 8”) square baking tin. Let the baking paper come up over the sides of the baking tin, these will act as ‘handles’ to be able to pull the cooled brownie out of the tin once baked.

  4. In a small saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter and dark chocolate together. Remove from the heat once it’s nearly melted, it will continue to melt off the heat. Add the caster sugar in to the melted chocolate and butter and stir until mixed through. The sugar will start to dissolve but the mixture will still be slightly grainy.

  5. In a mixing bowl, sieve in the flour, cocoa powder, salt and espresso powder (if using), stir to mix.

  6. In a seperate large mixing bowl, crack in the eggs. Use a standing mixer, electric or hand-held whisk to briefly whisk the eggs together. Pour the slightly cooled melted chocolate, butter and sugar mix in with the eggs and then whisk until the batter is thick, glossy and leaves a slowly sinking trail when you lift the whisk (about 2 - 3 mins whisking!)

  7. Add in the sieved dry ingredients and fold through until just mixed. The batter should be thick, heavy and glossy.

  8. Pour half of the brownie mixture into the prepared tin, then use a table spoon to dollop 2/3 of the cooled cherry sauce throughout the batter, gently swirling it through. Pour over the second half of the brownie mixture on top and dollop and swirl in the remaining 1/3 of the cherry sauce. Smooth out the top with the back of a spatula or spoon.

  9. Bake for ~ 30 minutes, until the top of the brownie has set and the outside is firm to touch. It’s okay if the middle is still wobbly and in-fact this is what we want to aim for, a little jiggle when you gently shake the pan. This is the perfect time to take the brownies out the oven - when they’re slightly underbaked - and is what gives them their soft, fudgy centre. They will continue to bake and firm up outside of the oven.

  10. Wait until completely cooled before removing from the tin and slicing.

  11. Serve with whipped cream, ice-cream, extra cherries and a drizzle of cherry liqueur and dark chocolate shavings.

Nutritional Information

(per slice)

447 calories

6g protein, 37g carbs, 30g fat

Good to know:

  • If you're using cherries from a jar soaked in Kirsch, drain the cherries and reserve the liquid to use in the sauce. Or use 200g of fresh and pitted cherries, frozen cherries, cherry jam or tinned and drained cherries along with cherry brandy, regular brandy or miss it out completely for booze-free brownies.

  • Ideally you want to make your cherry sauce ahead of time so that it's chilled when you use it. I put mine in the fridge right after making it.

  • Because chocolate is the predominant ingredient here, you want to make sure it's good quality. Not cheap baking chocolate (which is useful in other recipes, but not brownies!). I love using dark chocolate chips because they melt quicker

  • Espresso powder is completely optional, you can't taste the coffee but it's commonly added to chocolate bakes to help enhance the flavour of the chocolate. Feel free to skip it or use decaf powder. You can use instant coffee powder (eg. Nescafe Azera) or dissolve coffee granules in 1 tbsp hot water

  • Keeping the brownies in the fridge can make them easier to slice

  • Brownies will last for up to 7 days at room temperature or wrap individual slices in cling wrap and store in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months

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