Very blackberry delicious – Blackberry and Hazelnut Brownies

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!

Hazelnuts

Blackberry and Hazelnut Brownies

Blackberry and Hazelnut Brownies

Yes, you did hear them right, they said ‘EAT ME!’

Makes 9. Takes around 45 minutes.

8 Propoints/320 calories (approx.)

Ingredients

  • 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
  1. 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).
  2. Melt together your chocolate and butter on the hob, keeping a close eye so they don’t burn.

    Whisked lovingly by hand.

  3. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, sugar, yogurt and vanilla in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
  4. Pour in your melted butter & chocolate and mix untilcombined.
  5. Fold in your flour, cocoa, and half of the nuts and berries.
  6. Pour into your tin, before dotting the rest of your berries and nuts on the top.
  7. 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.

Let them cool for half an hour on a wire rack (if you can last that long),pour yourself a glass of cold milk, and enjoy.

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7 comments

    • Christine

      PS: Vancouver had a big riot in late June (over hockey… of course *facepalm*), and, well… despite all the rage and chaos, in the aftermath something changed for the better — the next morning there were volunteer clean-up crews downtown, good wishes written on plywood over broken windows, people scouring facebook and outting rioters, and the city had something to think about. Perhaps the silver lining in these riots is that the government will start doing more to fix unemployment and the income disparity!

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