Has any single pound of cherries ever been so decadent? I’m not so sure. And I’m not so sure it should ever be again.
The hardest part of buying cherries is not polishing off the entire bag before you even get to your bookmarked recipes. It’s a difficult race to pit the cherries fast enough for the 2-Year-Old. Because when I fall behind, she simply pops a whole one into her mouth, stem, pit, and all.
After making the Roasted Cherry Chocolate Cake for Project Pastry Queen, we were (I was) hooked on roasted cherries. I’ve had these brownies from Annie’s Eats bookmarked since last summer. Roasted cherries and dense, fudgey brownies? Sign me up.
I roasted the cherries in some of our port to concentrate the rich berry flavors and then folded that almost magical reduction into my current favorite brownie recipe – Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownies. I have a couple of friends who swear that no homemade brownie can touch a from-the-box brownie. And after one bite of the Ghirardellis, I can at least temporarily agree.
For the sauce, I was looking for something less sweet. something to pair with the rich brownies and sweet vanilla bean ice cream. We simmered more cherries in more port to make a very grown-up topping for a very grown-up sundae.
I can’t even imagine how many miles in 863% humidity I’ll have to run to wipe that brownie sundae off the books. It’s probably better if I don’t dwell on it.
Roasted Cherry Brownie Sundaes
A rockstar brownie sundae celebrating cherry season: rich brownies studded with cherries roasted in port wine, topped with vanilla ice cream and a roasted cherry-port sauce.
- For the brownies:
- 1/2 lb cherries
- 1/4 cup port
- 1 box brownie mix (I use Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownies), or your favorite brownie recipe, prepared according to direction
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- For the roasted cherry-port sauce:
- 1/2 lb cherries
- 1/2 cup port
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Remove stems, pit cherries, and then cut in half (or quarters if very large).
- Place in a small baking dish with 1/4 cup of port.
- Roast for 30 minutes, until the cherries are very soft and the port has slightly reduced (you'll have 2-3 Tbsp of liquid).
- Set the cherries aside to cool while you prepare your brownies according to directions.
- Reduce oven heat according to your brownie recipe.
- Grease an 8x8 baking pan.
- As the last step in making the brownie batter, stir in the cherries and accumulated juices and then transfer to the baking pan.
- Bake until a knife inserted in the center of the brownies comes out with moist crumbs attached (~45 minutes in my oven).
- To make the cherry port sauce, remove the stems and pits from the remaining 1/2 lb cherries.
- Quarter the cherries and then coarsely chop.
- Add to a small sauce pan with the port and sugar, cooking over medium-high until it begins to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 35-40 minutes, until very thick and syrupy (you'll have ~1 cup of sauce).
- Serve brownies topped with a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of warm cherry-port sauce.
- Leftover sauce will keep in the fridge for several days, serve rewarmed.
Yields: ~1 cup cherry-port sauce; sundae servings very
Estimated time: 2 hours 30 minutes