Dark Chocolate Brownies with Toasted Pecans and Port Soaked Cherries

Dark chocolate brownies with toasted pecans and port soaked cherries on LouiseMellor.com--\

I won’t cook fresh cherries, I just can’t … There is something very special to me about fresh cherries that I can’t bring myself to do anything to them except pop them in my mouth and enjoy their sweetness right off the stem.  I love the way the crisp skin of the cherry bursts under the pressure of my teeth  releasing all of the cherry juice into my mouth.  I can’t seem to stop after one or two and I always end up eating the entire bag – stems and pits in a pile next to me.  Every cherry feels like a tiny little gift of summer wrapped up in a  glossy red package and I cannot resist opening them all.  I remember being  6 years old and climbing up the ladder  into my aunt’s  backyard cherry tree. Beyond the last wrung of the ladder and into the highest branches I would make my way to a cool spot under the tent of thick branches and dense leaves.  High in the sky, away from all of the grown ups,and shaded from the hot summer sun, there I would sit for hours. No matter how many I ate, there were thousands more dangling like sparkling Christmas tree ornaments.  Perched like a little bird in my secret spot,  I would  quietly filling my stomach with as many cherries as I could reach until my mom called me down out of the tree.   I suppose it is this memory that keeps me from baking with fresh cherries.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with toasted pecans and port soaked cherries on LouiseMellor.com

Chocolate and cherries together make my heart skip a beat,  so when I decided to actually bake brownies with cherries, I used dried.  I soaked these cherries overnight in some port wine and coffee and the next day they were plump garnet colored jewels filled with flavor that begged to be paired with chocolate.   Coffee-port-chocolate-and-cherries, can you taste it?   These are very decadent and fudgy, be sure to serve them with some ice cream or a strong cup of coffee ~ enjoy.

Dark chocolate brownies with toasted pecans and port soaked cherries on LouiseMellor.com--3

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Toasted Pecans and Port Soaked Cherries
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup port wine
  • ½ cup strong brewed coffee
  • 8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup lightly packed golden brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 scant teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  1. In a small bowl combine the cherries, port wine, and coffee. Allow the cherries to macerate in the wine for at least 30 minutes or even better overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set the oven rack to the middle.
  3. Line an 8x8x2 inch pan with foil or parchment paper. All the foil or parchment to have a 2 inch overhang on each side so that the brownies can easily be removed - spray with cooking spray or lightly butter and then set aside.
  4. Place a medium metal or glass bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring to combine. Once the chocolate is melted, set aside or into the refrigerator to cool.
  5. In another large bowl whisk to combine the sugars,eggs, vanilla and salt. Slowly whisk in the cooled melted chocolate and butter until completely combined.
  6. Using a spatula, fold the flour In thirds into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  7. Gently squeeze out the port wine from the cherries and then add ½ of the cherries and ½ of the pecans to the brownies (reserving the other half for the top). Fold them in until just combine and then spread the brownie mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining cherries and pecans, with the back of the spatula, gently press the cherries and pecans into the top of the brownies.
  9. Place into the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes. The brownies are done when a toothpick into the center comes out wet and chocolaty but not gooey and raw. The edges will also begin to crack. Brownies are better when they are not overcooked.


12 comments… add one
  • sisilia September 12, 2013, 1:14 pm

    loved your recipes.check the awesome recipes at whimsytummy.blogspot.in I just loved them and I think you will too!

    • Chef Louise Mellor September 12, 2013, 2:06 pm

      thank you I will…

  • Laura@bakinginpyjama September 18, 2013, 9:39 am

    They sound delicious, saving recipe and pinning. Came across your blog on pinterest.

    • Chef Louise Mellor September 18, 2013, 11:47 am

      Thank you Laura, I “work” from home in my pajamas!

  • Dave October 5, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Louise, this looks awesome. I have some cherries which have been in bourbon for a couple years. They are dynamite! I am thinking this I could use my bourbon cherries instead of port wine ones. Mine have been soaked from fresh and are in perfect shape. Hopefully we will try the recipe soon and let you know how it comes out.

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  • Donna Jones June 25, 2015, 7:18 pm

    I’m really surprised that the recipe calls for an 8 by 8 inch pan.I always make brownies in an 8 by 13 and the amount of flour and sugar is the same.

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