A splash of orange liqueur and a dash of pepper are the small additions that make a big impact in these unusual brownies. Word of caution though—they’re addictive. You can swap the Cointreau for another liqueur such as hazelnutty Frangelica, to change the flavor to your own favorite.
8 ounces dark chocolate, 70% cocoa, divided
8 tablespoons butter, chopped and chilled
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ounce Cointreau orange liqueur
1/2 cup chopped cherries
Pinch of ground red pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. If you’re unsure about how accurate your oven is, use
an oven thermometer. The temperature needs to be accurate.
2. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan, line it with parchment paper, and grease the
parchment paper. Dust with powdered sugar.
3. Chop the chocolate coarsely.
4. Combine six ounces of the chocolate with the butter in the top of a double boiler
over two inches of simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Set
5. Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, Cointreau and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat
with a stand mixer or hand mixer on medium until the you can see trails in the
mixture, about 5 minutes.
6. Slowly mix in the melted chocolate. Add the flour one-quarter at a time, mixing it
in thoroughly before adding more.
7. Add the cherries, remaining chocolate and pepper to the batter. Stir in by hand
until well mixed.
8. Pour into the baking pan. Bake for exactly 40 minutes (the sides should be pulling
away from the pan). Allow to cool in the pan for one hour before cutting.
Notes: This recipe was used using the Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale. The Precision Elite is the big brother to my original scale, the Precision Pro. As much as I loved my Pro, I've become dependent on on the Precision Elite. It's solid construction seems custom-made for the rigors of a busy kitchen. I test recipes and edit and write cookbooks for a living, so I need durability in everything I use in my kitchen and the Elite has that in spades. But more importantly, it maintains the qualities that made me such a fan of the Precision Pro--it's super easy to use (especially the "tare" feature, where you can zero out a container's weight), and a breeze to clean.
I work fast in my kitchen, and I'm not a big tech person. So it was a real boon to find a scale that is intuitive and easy to use. I must admit, I also like the look. Very understated, very "professional kitchen." It's a sharp looking piece of equipment. I'm especially fond of the huge scale plate, which ensures that no matter what you're measuring, the container is not likely to block the numbers on the screen.
About the author: Chris is a cookbook editor, writer and recipe tester and you’ll find more of his recipes in A Man’s Whirled: Every Guy’s Guide to Cooking with the Blender.