ROASTED CHERRY BROWNIES

Roasted Cherry Brownies

Come get your Cherry fix, we are smack in the middle of the cherry season.These sweet fruits are amazingly delicious as is, and they have the power to transform your taste buds even more in pies, pancakes,desserts & summer cocktails.
The weather has been pleasant this weekend, blue skies and bright sunny days, as I sat reading a book enjoying the summer breeze,my little one came running to me & started singing, “Take me out to the ball game,take me out with the crowd…..” Yes, the home team is playing tomorrow and he is all excited about it.When I feigned thoughtfulness, he quickly added,
“Pretty please,with a cherry on top”…now that HAD to get me wink emoticon if anything else didn’t, so I said “We’ll consider”.Thoughts of childhood rushed in,my Dad took us to every cricket match that was played until the television took over,and I probably started at the same age as my kid ,growing up to be an ardent cricket fan.The excitement, the crowds, the food, the fun…these are my fondest memories to this day…and then finally when our home team won, there always, ALWAYS was a celebration at home.Friends would gather, food would be plenty, laughter would bounce of the walls, such was the pulse of the game in each one of us.Simple pleasures, priceless memories, yes that is what I wanted my child to remember me with too,much after I am gone there should always be a steady flow of joy into which he can dip in anytime when the world outside seemed too cold,simply because I had taken the time to make precious memories with him, just like my father had for me.
The plans were on, for tomorrow’s game, so what can we take with us to munch at the stands??? Game time, only got better with the constant supply of snacks at the stands, so I decided to make a quick treat with the “cherry on top”, something that is yummy, easily packed & not gooey and runny , that’s when this bright idea of trying out my hand at ‘Brownies’ struck me.
“A chocolate brownie is a flat, baked square or bar developed in the United States at the end of the 19th century and popularized in both the U.S. and Canada during the first half of the 20th century. The brownie is a cross between a cake and a cookie in texture” it read…. and that sounded like a perfect treat for us to take to the ball game.There is something about cherry & chocolates, that teases your senses, so I decided to go with that and what’s more a little instant coffee in the mix, would give us that extra boost of energy for cheering our home team, so I added that too and armed with just a bowl & a wooden spoon, I set about preparing the brownie, suddenly all the excitement of the game got into me ,I told myself repeatedly “A ball is a ball , is a ball ” be it cricket or baseball,a little tweaking of the pitcher for the bowler, the batter to the batsman was all it took…..out came the flood lights, the game was on grin emoticon, in went my brownies into the oven.
Curious to know how the brownies came to be, I looked into the history of brownie’s ,surprisingly, these were the facts listed “A chef at Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel created the confection after Bertha Palmer requested a dessert for ladies attending the Chicago 1893 World Fair; it should be, she said, smaller than a piece of cake, though still retaining cake-like characteristics and easily eaten from boxed lunches. These first brownies featured an apricot glaze and walnuts, and they are still being made at the hotel according to the original recipe” it read…Ah! I hit a home run with that already smile emoticon. The game runs deeper in me, then I realize, its here to stay ! grin emoticon
This roasted cherry brownie is a little different from the regular cherry recipes in that, that the cherries are roasted with maple syrup so it is nice sweet & juicy unlike just using the fresh pitted fruit as such.The batter contained a mix of All purpose flour with Ragi flour ( Finger millet used widely in South India for health reasons ).This is an eggless recipe, so I substituted flaxseed powder for eggs, along with Bulgarian dark chocolate & instant coffee and chocolate chips, I was sure I packed a punch in there for the game tomorrow.May the home team win,nothing like sharing the joy of watching your little one’s face light up with joy after his home team wins….. Precious priceless memories are born in that instant !!!

Roasted Cherry Brownies
Roasted Cherry Brownies

Ingredients:
Fresh cherries- 1 cup ( pitted & heaped)
Pure maple syrup- 1 tbsp
Flax seed powder- 1 1/2 tbsp mixed in 3 tbsp of water (set it aside to thicken)
All purpose flour ( Maida)- 3/4 cup
Ragi Flour ( Finger Millet flour) 1 1/4 cup
Cocoa powder( unsweetened)-1/2 cup
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Baking soda- 1/4 tsp
Dark chocolate- 1/2 cup( chopped)
Ghee- 1/4 cup
Brown sugar- 1 cup
Milk- 1/4 cup
Instant coffee -1 tbsp
Vanilla extract- 2 tsp
Chocolate chips- 1/4 cup

Method:
1. Clean & pit the cherries,preheat oven to 450 F & pour the cherries along with the maple syrup into a small baking pan & allow them to roast for about 10 minutes till the juices start flowing.Remove from oven & set it to cool.Reduce the oven temperature to 350F.
2.In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together – All purpose flour, Ragi flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
3. Melt the chocolate with the ghee in the microwave or over a double boiler on the stove. Add the sugar,milk, instant coffee, vanilla extract, and the flax mixture to the melted chocolate and stir well to combine.( At this point, resist the temptation to drink it up right there wink emoticon )
3. Now pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, until all the dry ingredients are mixed homogeneously.Fold in the roasted cherries & the juices along with the chocolate chips.
4. Pour the batter, which is slightly thick and not runny into the baking pan & bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the edge has hardened and the surface is slightly soft.It is always better to slightly under bake the brownies, and if the center is moist it will firm up when it cools down.Dry brownies are a No, No!, it needs to be a blend between a cake and a cookie smile emoticon
Once it’s baked let it cool on the rack for 30 minutes, before making small pieces.Enjoy your healthy “cherry topped” brownies

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