Nigella’s black forest brownie is better than gorgeous, and if you think the world doesn’t need another brownie recipe, think again!
Did I mention I’m not HUGE on chocolate? I might have, once or twice. Nor am I terribly enamoured of chocolate cakes: I’ll have a slice when given, or to test my own but in my house it’s The Weather Man who is the chocolate fiend (haha).
Our weekly cake-baking ritual usually consists of testing new cakes but every now and then we bake from the archives. If I want to limit my intake – which, frankly, should always be the case – I decide on something chocolatey knowing that I’ll not be very tempted.
This time it was testing AND chocolate – how fortunate, I thought. I’ll only sample it, for the research purposes, and the rest can be devoured by other people. I was, as you will have guessed, very wrong there.
This brownie is divine. The combination of chocolate and cherries is a classic, but the rosemary takes it to another dimension. I omitted the hazelnuts from Nigella’s original recipe. Having made it first with, then without I decided to have the unadulterated black forest experience and no nuts.
How is it made?
As usual with Nigella’s recipes, it’s very easy. The batter starts its life as a melting pot of butter and chocolate and everything else is gradually added or whisked into it, after a short cool-down. I cut down on sugar a little – Nigella’s recipe has 225g caster sugar – because I always do these days, but not too much because it’s a brownie after all.
About the rosemary
I knew before that rosemary has a special affinity with fruit and sweets. I make my blueberry sauce for pork with rosemary, though you might argue it’s a savoury dish all in all.
But I also add a sprig of rosemary to strawberry, blueberry and cherry jams because it absolutely wonderfully enhances the fruit flavour and mitigates the jammy sickliness somewhat.
From now on though I’ll add it to all things chocolate.
About the cherries
I soaked my cherries in orange juice. The obvious alternative is kirsch but I think Cointreau would be great to use as well, and it makes the kitchen smell beautiful.
Either way, soaking is an absolutely necessary step and must not be skipped. Otherwise you’ll be chewing on dry bits of fruit amidst the gorgeous fudgy cake.
About the cream
As I already confessed, I had much more than my sample of the brownie. And – that’s an even deeper confession – I had it with a little cream first and then with a dot of crème fraiche.
And however far I am from promoting gluttony (the brownies are exceedingly rich on their own), the tang of crème fraiche on fudgy rich chocolate is breathtakingly blissful.