Friday, June 04, 2021


I consider brownies to be one of the best, if not the best, busy day desserts. They are simply marvellous for everyday baking, as they require very little time and effort, and only a few ingredients. Truly infinitely adaptable, cakey or fudgy, with or without chocolate chips or frosting, they always make for a wholesome dessert.
Immensely fudgy, with a deep chocolate flavour, and just a hint of tartness from the cherries, these brownies are the perfect choice for a quick everyday treat. One thing I particularly love about them is how the liquid the cherries release while baking almost turns into a syrup by the time they are chilled and ready to serve.
I wholeheartedly suggest placing them in the freezer for 30 minutes or so, just before serving. They will firm up and start to freeze ever so slightly, turning into delightfully soft ice cream bars. Serve them with a generous drizzle of melted chocolate or chocolate sauce, ice cream, or even a glass of chilled cherry cordial and enjoy.

150 grams vegan vanilla yoghurt
120 grams unsweetened applesauce
120 grams brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
150 grams dark chocolate
50 ml vegetable oil
30 grams semolina
100 grams plain flour
25 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
small pinch baking soda
100 grams sour cherries, pitted

Take a large bowl, pour in the yoghurt, applesauce, sugar, and the vanilla, and whisk vigorously, until the mixture becomes smooth and glossy. Set it aside. Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, add in the chopped up chocolate, espresso powder, and the oil, and let everything melt slowly. Stir it often so it melts evenly. Once melted, set it aside to cool down slightly. Add the semolina to the yoghurt and applesauce, and stir it through well. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, and the small pinch of baking soda, and mix them in, as well.
Add in the melted chocolate and the cherries, and gently fold only until smooth and blended. It is best not to overmix the batter, as that tends to make the brownies tough. Take a small square pan (18x18 cm), line it with baking parchment, pour in the batter, and level it as much as possible. If desired, sprinkle even more cherries on the very top. Bake immediately, in a preheated oven, at 200°C, for about 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Check them for doneness earlier rather than later, to make sure they do not overbake. Once baked, let them cool down to your liking, and serve. Yields 9 servings.

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