One of the most underwhelming and anti-climatic feelings in the whole world is when you buy (or make) a chocolate cake that looks so moist and chocolatey but when you bite into it, it delivers a dry and bland regular sponge flavour that just disappoints on every level! In my opinion, when you have a chocolate cake or brownie, you want it to have the most chocolatey flavour possible! If you share this feeling then this is the perfect recipe for you, as it really is so rich and chocolatey you do really need something to cut through the sheer chocolatey-ness (such as the blackberries in this recipe). I added in the orange zest and hazelnuts to this recipe as these are just classic flavour combinations that you just go so well with chocolate, but I wanted another element to it, a sharper more exciting element that will give you a slap around your face when you are eating it, and this is when I thought of adding blackberries. It may not be the most well known of fruits to be paired with chocolate, but for me they go together so well as the tartness of the blackberries really cuts through the chocolate and knocks your tastebuds for six when you have them in these brownies. There are two rules that I follow when I work with chocolate; 1) I always add a pinch of salt to the recipe when there is chocolate involved as the flavours really do intensify and makes the recipe even more chocolatey and 2) For the same reasoning, I will always use a shot of really good espresso to the chocolate mixture. Coffee and chocolate share a lot of qualities and when they are paired together the flavours are just taken to another level! As you can see from the picture, half of my brownies are coated in hazelnuts and the other half is not. I have only done this as my girlfriend does not like hazelnuts in brownies! If you like the combination then you can coat the entire mixture with hazelnuts or leave them off completely 🙂
- 75ml vegetable oil (plus a little extra for greasing)
- 200g dark chocolate
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 80g light brown sugar
- 170g self raising flour
- 3 really heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
- 180ml almond milk
- 50ml espresso
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1 vanilla pod
- The zest of 2 oranges
- 100g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- A handful of blackberries, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a square baking tin (roughly 24cm) with a little vegetable oil and then line it with greaseproof paper to make sure that brownies have no chance of sticking.
2. Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl) and break in the 200g of chocolate. Once melted, leave to the side to cool a little.
3. Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds and add these to the bowl along with the grated zest of one orange, 50g of hazelnuts and half of the blackberries. Mix in the oil, almond milk, espresso and melted chocolate until you have a silky smooth batter.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and then sprinkle over the remaining hazelnuts, orange zest and blackberries. Put the tin into the oven for around 20-25 minutes or until you have a lovely crust on the outside of the brownie whilst the middle is still deliciously gooey! Once the brownies are ready, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for 5-10 minutes and then serve them warm with some ice cream or a milkshake!!
I hope you like this recipe and trust me if you have a craving for chocolate then look no further, I guarantee that this recipe will satisfy your craving instantly!