- 1 pound (16 oz) frozen & pitted dark sweet cherries, defrosted (or fresh, stemmed & pitted)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tsp Valrhona unsweetened cocoa powder (or Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (or 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar)
- 2 oz Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (we love Ghirardelli 60%)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt
1. Put the cherries and sugar in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of water and heat on low until sugar is dissolved.
2. Add teaspoon unsweetened cocoa. Stir.
3. Mix one tablespoon of the Grand Mariner (or the balsamic vinegar) with the cornstarch in a small bowl until it’s dissolved; this is called a “slurry.” Set aside.
4. Add the rest of the Grand Marnier (or balsamic vinegar.) Bring the heat up to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the cherries are softened through, but not falling apart.
5. Melt 2 oz Bittersweet Chocolate Chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate into the cherry mixture, carefully, so as not to break the cherries, until the sauce is smooth.
6. During the last moments of cooking, stir in the starch/Grand Marnier "slurry" and let the mixture boil for an additional minute or so, to thicken the juices. It will continue to thicken while cooling
7. Turn off the heat and stir in vanilla extract and pinch sea salt.
8. Pour into a Mason jar (or other airtight container); cool on rack, then cool completely before affixing the lid. Refrigerate until serving (it may be served at room temperature or heated again for serving).
9. Refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze for up to 4 months.
DARK CHOCOLATE HEART BROWNIES (makes 35 - 40 hearts)
- 10 oz bittersweet chocolate (we love Ghirardelli 60% chips)
- 4 oz dark chocolate 70% or 100% (unsweetened); we love Ghirardelli chocolate bars
- 6 Tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa (we love Valrhona)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (we love Land ‘0 Lakes)
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla (we love Nielson & Massey)
- 6 large eggs
- Jelly roll pan (15" long x 11" wide x 1" deep)
- Pam or nonstick cooking spray
- Heart cookie cutter, 2" (measuring at top) is best, plus a mini heart cutter, approximately 1/2", to use between each cut-out.
- Parchment sheets
- Rubber spatula
- Mixing bowl
- Offset spatula or knife for smoothing batter
Preheat Oven to 325 (300 convection)
1. Melt chocolates & butter in the microwave on low power, stirring often.
2.Whisk in cocoa powder.
3. Whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla; slowly drizzle a very small amount of warm chocolate mixture (so you don’t scramble the eggs; this is called tempering the eggs. Once tempered, slowly add rest.
4. Add flour, whisking only until incorporated. Stir with rubber spatula until fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
5. Pour batter onto foil-lined jelly roll pan; spray with non-stick cooking spray (if you don't have spray, you can use vegetable oil on a paper towel and apply it lightly to the entire pan, including sides. Using an offset spatula, even the batter across top.
6. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the pan around in the oven, then bake for another 10 - 14 minutes, until the toothpick comes out with sticky crumbs on it. Place on a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Using the 2" heart cookie cutter, cut hearts out of the brownie sheet as close together as you can and place them on a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Taking the mini heart cutter, use it to get the remainder of the brownies in the pan. Place hearts on parchment and set aside (if not using in the next few hours, store in an air-tight container, separating layers with parchment sheets; you may refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 4 months if tightly wrapped).
MAKING THE CHOCOLATE LOVER'S SUNDAE
Place 2 - 3 Tablespoons of sauce, with cherries, in the bottom of a clear ice cream dish or glass.
Place one large scoop of premium vanilla ice cream (we love Oberweis, Graeter's and Hagen Daz) on top; place one (or two) 2" brownie heart(s) on top, adding a mini heart, then spoon a generous amount of cherries and chocolate sauce over the top!
Serve immediately and enjoy!