Black Forest Brownies

IMG_0678Combine bite-sized brownies with Urban Fruit gently baked cherries and you get your very own Black Forest Brownies. Decorated with my hand made cherry energy balls and mini rosemary trees, a complete black forest scene can be easily created. Enjoyed together, both cherry brownies and energy balls provide two bites of the cherry in one bite! However feel free to just make the cherry energy balls, if looking for something a little less indulgent. Like the energy balls, the brownies can be made gluten free using ground almonds in place of flour.

50g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
100g golden caster sugar
100g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g ground almonds or plain flour
1 x 90g packet of Urban Fruit Cheeky Cherries

1 x 90g packet of Urban Fruit Cheeky Cherries
1 tbsp vanilla extract
100g ground almonds

To decorate
100g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
fresh rosemary sprigs

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Line a 24 mini muffin tin with black mini muffin cases.
Put the butter, syrup and sugar into a saucepan. Set it over a medium heat and warm, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Take the saucepan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate and the vanilla extract. Leave for a few minutes so the chocolate can soften and melt, then stir the chocolatey mixture until smooth and combined.
Use a hand-held electric whisk to beat the egg into the warm chocolately mixture in the pan until thick and velvety. Sift over the ground almonds or flour if using and fold it in gently until just combined. Finally stir through the cherries.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, using a teaspoon and dividing the mixture evenly. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until the brownies have risen slightly and are firm to the touch. Leave to cool completely in the tin – the brownies will firm up as they cool. If you like a really fudgy brownie, refrigerate before cutting (chilling also makes them easier to cut in half to reveal the hidden cherries). While the brownies are cooling, make the cherry energy balls.
Put the cherries and vanilla extract in a mini food mixer and blitz to break down the cherries. Add in the ground almonds and pulse/blitz to fully combine everything together, adding in a few splashes of water if necessary to bind everything together. Roll into cherry sized balls and with a cocktail stick make an incision in the top of each one and stick in a piece of rosemary to resemble a cherry stalk.
Leave the energy balls to firm up in the fridge while you melt your chocolate to cover the brownies with. You can either melt the chocolate in a microwave or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (bain-marie). Once melted use a teaspoon to spread over the brownies – tap the brownies on their bases to evenly distribute the chocolate and create a smooth top. Leave to set slightly before removing your cherry energy balls from the fridge and carefully place them in the centre of over half the brownies.

For the remaining brownies create mini rosemary forest trees by cutting the tops of sprigs of rosemary and inserting them into the chocolate topped brownies. Once all the brownies are decorated leave the chocolate to fully set before enjoying, remembering to not eat the rosemary stalks or trees!