by Jess Thomson
Makes 16 brownies | Active time: 40 minutes
from Edible Seattle May/June 2009
Dense and deeply chocolaty, these brownies taste best when someone else makes them. Before cherry season, top them with macerated chopped strawberries; later in the summer, try raspberries or pears.
For the chocolate layer:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
4 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
For the ricotta layer:
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup part skim ricotta
For the cherry compote:
1 pound cherries, pitted and halved
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Kirsch (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and center a rack in the middle of the oven. Butter an 8″ square pan. Line the entire pan with wax paper, and butter the paper. Make the chocolate layer: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, let any bubbles subside, then add the chocolate, stirring constantly until completely smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt, and set aside.
Whip the sugar and eggs together in the work bowl of a stand mixture on high until light, about 3 minutes. With the machine on low, add the chocolate mixture in a slow, steady stream, mixing until uniform in color. Sift the cocoa over the batter and fold it in until no dry spots remain. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and smooth flat with a spatula.
Next, make the ricotta mixture: In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg and sugar until light. Add the ricotta, and whisk until smooth. Pour the ricotta mixture over the chocolate layer and tip the pan to distribute the filling evenly. Bake brownies for 35 to 40 minutes, until firm in the center. (They may puff and/or crack, but will settle again when cooling.)
Cool completely in the pan, at least 1 hour (or, for easiest cutting, in the refrigerator overnight). Place brownies on a cutting board, leaving wax paper on. Slice into 16 squares, and remove paper.
Before serving, combine cherry compote ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar melts and glazes the cherries, about 5 minutes. Serve brownies at room temperature, topped with cherries.
Gluten-Free ~ Vegetarian