Black Forest Brownies with Mocha Ganache
From A Passion for Desserts by Emily Luchetti, (Chronicle Books, 2003)
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 16 Brownies (2-inch squares)

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces (about 24) sweet red cherries, preferably Bing, plus 16 whole cherries with stems for garnish
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kirsch
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    Mocha ganache:
  • ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • ¾ teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder
  • 3 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
For brownies:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

Melt chocolates together with butter in a double boiler. While the chocolate is melting, stem, pit, and cut the 8 ounces of cherries into eighths.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Whisk in chocolate mixture and kirsch. Mix in the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gently mix in the cut cherries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out almost clean but still with a little batter on it, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let brownies cool in the pan.

For ganache:
In a small saucepan, warm the cream and instant espresso powder over medium-high heat until it bubbles around the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add the two kinds of chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Transfer ganache to a small bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

To serve, run a knife around the inside edge of the brownie pan and place a cutting board on top of the pan. Invert board and pan, then remove pan. Carefully peel off parchment paper. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares. Place them right-side up on a platter. Using a whisk or electric mixer on medium speed, whip ganache until thick. Frost each brownie with ganache, place a whole cherry in the middle, and serve.

Packing tips:
The brownies can be made a day in advance and stored wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature. The ganache can be kept refrigerated until you are ready to frost the brownies. For your picnic, place frosted brownies in an airtight container in single layer separated by wax paper so the frosting and cherries do not get ruined.


Published: August 2004