Don't let social distancing spoil the shoot lunch - Philippa Davis' scrumptious black forest brownies can be parcelled for a pandemic compliant picnic

Social distancing requires innovative shoot lunches this season. Philippa Davis recommends a pandemic compliant picnic. These indulgent black forest brownies, with brandy and cherry jam, make the perfect pud.

For more picnic perfect puddings, though country house opera is cancelled the accompanying al fresco feasts needn’t be. Our trifle opera cake jars with amaretto will make a stylish final flourish. Or for another chocolate fix, our pear brownies with hazelnuts are a Field favourite with good reason.


Swirled with brandy and cherry jam these brownies are decadent and utterly delicious.

Makes 6

  • 200g 70% chocolate
  • 200g butter
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 180g cherry jam
  • 2 tbsp kirsch or brandy
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 3 medium free-range or organic eggs, lightly beaten
  • 75g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 30g cocoa

Preheat the oven 160°C/310°F/gas mark 2.5.

Line a 20cm x 25cm baking dish with non-stick paper.

In a large pan on a very low heat melt the chocolate and butter with the sugar. Stir often and do not let it come to a simmer.

Once the butter and chocolate are melted (the sugar won’t have dissolved completely), take off the heat and leave to cool for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile…

In a bowl mix the cherry jam with the kirsh. In another bowl, whisk the cream cheese with the caster sugar. And in another bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and cocoa.

Once the chocolate has cooled, whisk in the eggs, then flour mix. Pour into the lined tin.

Dot over half the jam, then dot over all the cream cheese before topping with the rest of the jam.

Using a skewer draw a 4×3 grid by dragging it through the mix. You want to create a swirl affect but not totally combine the different elements.

Bake in the middle shelf of the oven for about 50 minutes or until just cooked.

Leave to cool then place in the fridge for a couple of hours before cutting and wrapping.