Can I use cherry brandy instead of kirsch in the Black Forest Brownies? I have a bottle lurking in my drinks cabinet but I'm concerned it might be too syrupy and sweet in this recipe.
Nigella's Black Forest Brownies (from COOK, EAT, REPEAT) are squidgy dark chocolate brownies that are scented with rosemary and studded with hazelnuts and dried cherries. The cherries are simmered with a little kirsch before they are used, as this helps to plump them up and make them softer.
Kirsch is the traditional liqueur used in Black Forest gateau and is a clear liqueur distilled from morello cherries. Cherry brandy is usually made by macerating cherries in a neutral spirit and it may or may not have added sugar. Cherry brandy should be a good alternative to kirsch, particularly if you already have some. We suspect that the cherry brandy will be fine as is, but if you feel that it is too syrupy then replace 1 tablespoon (15ml) of the brandy with 1 tablespoon of water (i.e. 60ml/¼ cup brandy plus 15ml/1 tablespoon of water), to dilute it very slightly before heating it with the cherries. You could also use orange juice instead of kirsch as a non-alcoholic alternative.