Ok, this recipe isn’t quick, but it has extremely little hands-on time. Why am I trying to pass off such a simple recipe? Because I’m lazy? Well…sorta, but mostly because I’m just about to get some travelling in. Where? Back to Edinburgh! So there will be a little Double the Sugar Convention while I visit with Lucy, and we eat our way through the town. As such, I’ve been putting more thought into the trip than into my cooking. Also, if you don’t hear from us next week, we might be too full of food to type. Just so you know.
This is a slow cooker recipe, but it can be done just as easily in a dutch oven. Just be aware that it takes hours, so I’d recommend getting set up in the morning, or at least after lunch.
Like many things, baked goods are better with booze. Either to accompany them or as part of the recipe, you really can’t go wrong. I particularly like using booze in frostings, they can add a lot of flavor, and has the double benefit of not being able to boil off, so you still feel a little naughty when you’re eating cupcakes with booze frosting (doubly so if you’re having that cupcake for breakfast, don’t worry, I won’t tell). But a close runner up to using booze in frosting is soaking fruit in alcohol. Typically you see wine being used for this purpose, and for this recipe, a nice red or a port would be delicious. But I made these brownies on Independence Day, so to add a dose of Americana, I went with bourbon. Specifically I went with Woodford Reserve, as that’s the bourbon we tend to keep in stock, but really, it’s up to you and your preferences. And of course, you can make this recipe just as easily by omitting the booze.
One small note: when I use fruit to infuse booze, I use fresh fruit, but when I’m infusing the fruit with booze, I use dried fruit. Either way works, really, but starting with a dried fruit means it’s absorbing the alcohol instead of replacing natural juices with alcohol, so I find you tend to keep more of the flavor in the fruit and just add booziness to it. But fresh cherries work just fine too, and if you’re omitting the alcohol, fresh is the better choice. Soaking overnight seems like the best plan.
Also, it bears mentioning that combining bourbon and chocolate in this way might make people fall in love with you. Bake at your own risk.