A little while ago, I was talking about the health benefits – especially the anti-inflammatory effects – of tart cherries in my recipe for “Cherry-Onion Crostini“. But guess what? I just love how they taste! Cherries are also more versatile than one initially assumes: they go well as part of a savory dish or snack (such as the Crostini) just as it does in a sweet indulgence – one as these Cherry Hazelnut Brownies.
How did this brownie come about? Actually, it somewhat dropped on me one recent weekend afternoon when it was too warm for my tastes to move and I was simply bumming about trying not to suffer more in the heat. I was innocently sort-of dozing off when unexpectedly somebody rang the door. As it turned out, it was my neighbor from below who shoved a bucket under my nose: “I got this load of cherries from my grandmother’s garden. I cannot eat them all, so those are for you!” I was still thinking how anyone could be so cheerful in this heat and just able to mumble “Thank you!” before she disappeared leaving me with the cherries.
What to do with these? I had planned to make brownies later that day (night?) – and why not add a couple of cherries! OK, so I washed and pitted a couple of cherries and set them aside. The brownie itself I made in a vegan and gluten-free variant using buckwheat flour, coconut milk, raw cacao, vegan dark chocolate, and hazelnut butter. The addition of the hazelnut butter adds a nicely nutty taste to it that is a bit reminiscent of a Nutella-like spread. When the dough is done, I took the cherries, cut them in quarters and folded them in. As a nice extra, I sprinkled crushed hazelnut bits on top and sent it into the oven for about 25 minutes.
These delicious Cherry Hazelnut Brownies come out nice and juicy. The fruity extra bit from the cherries is a really special and fresh addition to the brownies. And of course, I took a good chunk of them down to my neighbor.
- 2 cups (250 g) buckwheat flour
- 15oz (400 ml) coconut milk
- ½ cup (120 ml) date or maple syrup
- ½ cup (120 ml) hazelnut butter
- 5 Tbs raw cacao
- ¼ cup (60 ml) water
- 3.5 oz (100 g) vegan dark chocolate
- 2 Tbs aluminum free baking powder
- 1 Tbs organic Vanilla
- 8 oz (250 g) cherries, pitted and cut into quarters
- 1 handful hazelnuts for garnish
- Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C).
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the cherries and the hazelnuts and mix well.
- Carefully mix the cherries into the dough.
- Prepare a baking dish with parchment paper and add the dough.
- Crush the hazelnuts and sprinkle them over the dough. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.