Love Slave Balsamic Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies

By Amy Reiley

Makes 16 brownies – Gluten-free recipe

One glance at the ingredients and you might be tempted to shelve this recipe as too weird to try. Don’t do it. If you like brownies, you need this recipe in your life. Seriously, it’s one of the most seductive, toe-curling, taste bud-pulsating recipes in the history of chocolate recipes. Do not shy away from the balsamic. It is a sweet vinegar with a caramel quality that brings complexity to this dessert (and many others). Don’t be afraid of the garbanzo flour. Used here, it is simply an alternative to white flour with a few bonus health benefits — and it makes the brownies gluten-free, so double bonus.

Although it may feel like you’re putting together a crazy concoction, this combination of ingredients results in some of the moistest, rich brownies with a depth of chocolate flavor you just don’t get from a typical recipe. When you serve these to the one you love, they’ll go from lover to love slave.


– 1/2 cup dried dark cherries
– 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter
– 1/2 cup high-fat cocoa powder
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup roasted walnuts, chopped
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1/4 cup garbanzo flour (chickpea flour)
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 2 large eggs
– 5 oz dark chocolate baking chunks (substitute: dark chocolate chips)


• Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
• Roughly chop the dried cherries into halves or quarters. Put them in a small bowl and bathe them with the balsamic. Let them rest while you make the brownie batter.
• In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until you have a smooth river of chocolate goodness.
• Stir in the vanilla and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
• In a medium mixing bowl, combine the walnuts, sugar, flour and salt. Stir in the chocolate mixture.
• Crack the eggs one at a time into a separate bowl and add them to the brownie batter. Stir until just combined.
• Strain the balsamic from the cherries then fold the cherries, along with the chocolate chunks, into the batter.
• Pour the mixture into a greased 8 x 8 pan. * Note: the batter will be thick.
• Bake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is just set. Be careful not to over-bake — these are ultra-ooey, gooey brownies.
• To cut, dip your knife in hot water then cut through the brownies. This will help prevent sticking as these brownies are super moist and luscious.

* If you’re planning to serve the brownies at a party, instead of greasing, line the pan with parchment, making sure to leave it hanging over two opposite sides, as though you’re making handles. (Because you are.) When the brownies have cooled, transfer the pan to the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove pan from freezer and carefully lift the parchment like two handles and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. The time in the freezer will have helped the brownies firm up long enough for you to cut them neatly without totally freezing them.

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Excerpted from Eat Cake Naked: aphrodisiac recipes to heat up your love life by Amy Reiley & Delahna Flagg