Years ago, when I ran a cake stall at the Bondi Farmers’ Market, double chocolate brownies were my best seller. I would make trays and trays of them on Friday night and inevitably wish I had made one more tray when they sold out early the next morning.

This sour cherry and Shiraz version is an evolution of those original market brownies (a brilliant Nigella Lawson recipe, by the way). The dried sour cherries are soaked in vintage fortified Shiraz, making them beautifully plump and juicy (and just a little bit boozy), but you could use any fortified wine you have on hand.

I’m going to make a (double) batch this weekend to eat and share with friends who are stopping by over Easter.

Sour cherry & Shiraz bownies

(makes 18 pieces)

Ingredients

150g dried sour cherries
125ml fortified Shiraz (or any fortified wine you like)
360g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
375g unsalted butter, diced
1 tbsp vanilla paste
5 eggs
440g caster sugar
200g plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp Dutch cocoa
180g milk chocolate, cut into chunks

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan and line a 22 x 30cm deep baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place dried sour cherries and fortified wine in a small saucepan and heat to just below a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool in saucepan with the lid on.
  3. Whilst cherries are cooling, place dark chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over very low heat, stirring regularly until chocolate and butter have melted and formed a lovely smooth chocolate puddle. Remove pan from heat and allow chocolate to cool to room temperature.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, caster sugar and vanilla, whisking until mixture is frothy and well combined. Pour in cooled chocolate mixture and whisk again until smooth.
  5. Place flour, salt and cocoa in a small mixing bowl, whisking lightly to combine before sifting into the bowl with the chocolate mixture. Stir until just combined before adding sour cherries and wine and finally milk chocolate chunks. Mix again to gently incorporate before pouring batter into lined baking tin.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 40 – 45 minutes until slightly risen and crackled, but still a bit gooey inside. Cool brownie completely in tin before lifting out and slicing. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm with double cream.

Brownies will keep happily in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days, or in the fridge if the weather is warm.