Dark, brooding, mysterious…….that’s not me you understand, but these incredible cookies I made the other day. I just had to share this recipe with you, as I’ve never seen my chief taste tester (my wife) so animated about something I have cooked before - in fact, she’s never been that animated about anything I’ve done before!
The combination of rich dark chocolate and tart sour cherries is irresistible, and the crisp exterior and soft chewy middle makes having only one very difficult - so beware!
I used dried sour cherries which you can search out in good supermarkets, delis and farm shops, but dried cherries also work, as long as they are the unsweetened kind. You can also substitute any dried fruit for the cherries and could even throw in a few chopped nuts for added crunch, but the tart cherries and rich chocolate work really well together.
Talking of the chocolate, I used a combination of milk (34% cocoa solids) and dark (77% cocoa solids) but experiment with your own combination depending on how creamy or bitter you prefer your chocolate fix.
235g dark chocolate
150g plain flour
45g cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
105g unsalted butter
240g soft brown sugar
100g dried sour cherries
Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.
Either melt the chocolate in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, or in a microwave on medium low for a few minutes.
Mix the flour, bicarb, salt and cocoa powder together and sift into another bowl.
Whisk the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy looking, then add the eggs, one at a time, making sure the first one is mixed in well before adding the other.
Then add the sifted dry ingredients, again a little at a time, before adding more to make sure everything is well amalgamated.
Finally, add the melted chocolate and mix in well.
This can all be done easily if you have an electric food mixer, but a hand mixer is also good.
Now fold the sour cherries through the mixture and refrigerate for about 20 minutes while you clear up - or not as in my case!
I use a small ice cream scoop to put balls of the mixture on the baking tray. Depending on what size you want your cookie to be, you can use a larger scoop but remember that they will flatten out and spread in the oven.
If you don’t have an ice cream scoop, just use a couple of tablespoons of mix and form into a ball.
Put the baking trays in the fridge for about 30 minutes, while you heat the oven to 160℃/150℃ fan.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until looking cracked on top.
Remove and let them cool on the trays where they will firm up and crisp a little on the outside.
These taste decadent and are fantastic with a cup of tea or coffee - or anything you fancy.