I’m a sucker for a freebie; this week I drove to 4 different shops to buy a copy of a magazine with a voucher for a free Ikea double duvet cover in it, only to get the cover home and realise I have a king size duvet. *facepalm*
So when I pulled up outside my Weight Watchers meeting and spotted rich purple clots of ripe blackberries, I knew I had to have ’em. I even had an empty, freshly-washed tupperware box with my from my lunch at work. It was clearly meant to be.
Plucking the juicy berries from the brambles – trying (and failing) to avoid the nettles – brought back wonderful memories of going blackberry picking as a child with my parents.
Of filling up various buckets, tubs, and tins, and racing home with our crop, beaming ear-to-ear. And of squealing aswe washed them and woodlice and other creepy crawlies emerged – subdued and put out from being evicted from their plush purple homes.
The inevitable use for them at home was a crumble. That’s pretty much the only dessert my mother ever made – well, that and a packet-mix birds trifle. And don’t get me wrong, I love a crumble; I just felt such a sense of happiness at having reconnected with nature for the briefest of moments and actually foraged something that I wanted to make something a bit more special.
I scoured the web and found numerous possibilities: pies, muffins, loaf cakes, crumble cakes, and very nearly made these Blackberry and Coconut squares. But none of them really stood out for me. I also had a tiny bar of dark chocolate and a craving for something naughty. Which gave me the inspiration for these beauties.
I love the contrast of the tangy, juicy, berries, the full flavour of the dark chocolate, and the luxurious crunch added by the hazelnuts. I definitely did those berries justice – and then some!
Blackberry and Hazelnut Brownies
Makes 9. Takes around 45 minutes.
8 Propoints/320 calories (approx.)
- 120g fresh or frozen blackberries
- 140g light margarine (or ideally glorious, rich, full-fat butter)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 150g plain flour
- 120 g caster sugar
- 60g light muscovado/light brown sugar
- 40g good quality dark chocolate
- 30g cocoa powder
- 40g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1tbsp Greek yogurt (I used low fat)
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 190/170 fan/Gas mark 5 and line a square or rectangular tray-bake tin (I used a 9 inch square silicone tin).
- Melt together your chocolate and butter on the hob, keeping a close eye so they don’t burn.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, sugar, yogurt and vanilla in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
- Pour in your melted butter & chocolate and mix untilcombined.
- Fold in your flour, cocoa, and half of the nuts and berries.
- Pour into your tin, before dotting the rest of your berries and nuts on the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes and check if they’re ready with a skewer – they are if it comes out clean. If not, give them another 5.