Whip up these chocolate cherry brownies for a fruity twist on a classic
“These are so rich and moist, more like a dessert than a cake.” – Kerstin Rodgers
Picota is an exclusive product - grown in Spain’s Jerte Valley - that is distinguished by its flavour and sweetness. They are dark red in colour and have a more fleshy, crunchier texture than other cherries.
The first thing you’ll notice is they’re sold without stalks. The stalk is left on the tree when carefully harvested by hand, ensuring the fruit is only picked at optimum ripeness.
The second thing you’ll notice is the unique shape of the fruit itself. Unlike other cherries, which are round, this variety develops a natural point, hence the name Picota (pico is Spanish for peak, or point). Despite it being slightly smaller than other cherries, Picota makes up for its size in flavour.
Picota cherries are protected by a denomination of origin (DO) status, which means they can’t be grown anywhere else and are only available in supermarkets until the end of July.
Spanish Picota Cherry Chocolate Brownies
- 300g Spanish Picota cherries, pitted and sliced in half
- 200g of good quality dark chocolate, 70%
- cocoa or more
- 200g milk chocolate, in chip form or broken up
- 150g unsalted butter
- 50g chocolate powder
- 100g self-rising flour
- 200g light brown soft sugar
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 3 eggs
- Vanilla essence/paste
- Preheat oven to 170-180C and line a cake tin with baking parchment.
- Break up the dark chocolate and half the milk chocolate, into rough chunks and cut the butter into pieces.
- Place the butter into a bowl and add the dark and milk chocolate chunks and bain-marie it all, mixing until it’s uniform. Take the bowl off the heat and leave it to cool.
- Chop the remaining milk chocolate into small chunks (if not using chips) and set aside.
- Sieve the chocolate powder, flour, nutmeg into a bowl and set aside.
- Cream together the eggs, sugar and a few drops of vanilla essence until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. This will take a while, the resulting mixture should be thick and nearly twice the volume of what you started with.
- Fold in the butter, chocolate mixture gently to avoid losing the air you’ve creamed in.
- Fold in the flour, chocolate powder, nutmeg and most of the Spanish Picota cherries bit by bit. Mix until uniform.
- Pour into the tin and sprinkle the chips and remaining cherries on top.
- Place in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes. The centre of the brownie should no longer wobble when you gently shake the cake tin. If it does, it needs a few more minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes. Then cut into squares.