WHOLE CHERRY BROWNIES

Richard Bertinet recently taught me a really valuable life lesson: how to pit a cherry without removing the stalks. The answer lies in a paperclip. These brownies not only look so delicious, but the cherry really helps to balance that sweet, gooey, chocolaty goodness. 

(c) John Whaite

Ingredients (makes up to 16 brownies)

  • 16 pitted cherries (see instructions below) 
  • 200g dark chocolate 
  • 200g salted butter, cubed
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 265g caster sugar
  • 150g plain flour  
  • 100g white chocolate chips 
  • 100g dark chocolate chips 

Essential Equipment

  • 20cm square cake tin, greased and lined 

Method

(c) John Whaite 

To pit the cherries, take a paperclip and unbend it, leaving the hook shaped part as a hook. Insert that hook up into the base of a cherry. Feel the way around the stone - I think it helps to imagine you're shaving the stone with the paperclip. Gently manipulate out the stone, being careful not to squash the cherry or remove too much flesh. Place them wound side down onto paper towel. 

(c) John Whaite 

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. To make the brownie batter place the chocolate and butter into a saucepan and set over a low heat. Stirring constantly, melt them together until very smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and add the eggs and beat in until smooth, then beat in the sugar until it is more or less dissolved. Sift over the flour and fold in along with the chocolate chips until you have an evenly smooth batter. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and press the cherries into the mixture as evenly spaced as possible, leaving their tops and stalks poking out. Return to the oven and bake for a final 15 minutes. When ready, the brownie should be a cracked, paler brown on top, and dark brown, dense and gooey underneath. Allow to cool until completely cold, then chill in the fridge before cutting - this just helps to achieve an even, neater cut.