Cherry Studded Brownies with Fresh Cherry Sauce

(recipe adapted from Hot Polka Dot's Cherry Brownie Clafoutis)

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
30 sweet cherries, pitted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Spray 6 dessert dishes or ramekins with non stick cooking spray and set them aside on a large baking sheet.

Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. (Can use a double boiler, microwave, or as I do, just a really heavy cast iron sauce pan on very low heat.)

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. 

Stir in the cocoa powder. 

Add the melted chocolate mixture.

By hand, stir in the flour and salt until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared dishes, filling 3/4 full. 

Arrange 5 cherries in the top of each baking dish.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tops are shiny and a toothpick inserted into the middle doesn't not show wet batter...some moist cake crumbs may cling to the pick.

Cool on rack for 20 minutes. (Serves 6)

Fresh Cherry Sauce

1/2 lb fresh cherries, washed & pitted
2 cups water
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract

Combine cherries, water, and sugar in saucepan.

Simmer for about 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Skim occasionally.

Stir in orange extract.

Serve drizzled over ice cream or other desserts.