September is the month for blackberries, apples and green cobnuts. Yes cobnuts are good at Christmas to be sure, but eat them fresh in September and it’s quite a different experience. These blackberry & apple spelt pancakes with brown buttered cobnuts are a taste sensation – truly.
Seasonal comforting blackberry and apple crumble. This one’s spiced with warming ginger and includes walnuts in the crumble topping for additional taste and texture.
One of the many highlights of our day at River Cottage last week, was the blackberry and apple spelt soda bread we made along with some beautiful butter. I was so delighted with the bread that I went foraging for blackberries a few days later and made a loaf at home.
Yes autumn is here again and it’s brambling season. If you’re wondering what to do with all those black fruits you’ve gathered, this double blackberry chocolate galette might do the trick. It’s a rustic blackberry tart with a hidden layer of chocolate blackberry jam to give added depth and sweetness.
A speedy nutritious and delicious fruity breakfast smoothie. Serve this berry and rose kefir smoothie in a sundae glass and eat with a spoon for a satisfying start to the day.
When I was leafing through Chantal Coady’s book Rococo: mastering the art of chocolate a few weeks ago, I was struck by her recipe for White Chocolate Heartbreakers – a white chocolate cake served warm with a melting raspberry and white chocolate middle – rather like a chocolate fondant. I bookmarked it straight away as I thought it would be an excellent dessert for the upcoming blackberry season, producing a surprise purple melting middle rather than a pink one.
As this is a We Should Cocoa anniversary, I wanted to do something a little bit special. I also had a cake to make for a friend. I knew I wanted to use the chocolate blackberry jam I made a couple of weeks ago; it’s not only rather special but seasonal too. Leafing through some of my baking books, I came across Ruth Clemens’ Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe in her book, The Pink Whisk guide to Cake Making. The recipe looked good and as we are all in the throws of the Great British Bake Off, it seemed rather appropriate as Ruth was one of the finalists back in 2010.
I decided to follow the recipe for the cake batter and the ganache, but not the buttercream as I was going to use jam. I halved the ganache recipe and changed the cake recipe a little – I just can’t help it! I attempted feathering for the first time using the leftover blackberry white chocolate ganache from the blackberry puddings recipe I have yet to post.
This is how I made:
- Measured 220ml milk into a jug and added 2 tbsp of malt vinegar to make a quick version of sour milk. Gave it a stir and left to coagulate.
- Creamed 165g unsalted butter with 300g light Muscovado sugar and 30g of Molasses sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in 3 duck eggs (large hens eggs can be substituted) one at a time.
- Sieved in 200g plain flour, 80g self-raising flour, 60g cocoa powder (I used Food Thoughts fairtrade & organic), 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp mesquite powder (optional – gives a slight caramel flavour).
- Folded in alternately with the soured milk.
- Spooned the mixture into 2 7″ oiled baking tins and 3 small rectangular silicone moulds filling them to about 3/4 full.
- Left to cool in the tins, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Brought 140 ml of cream to the boil in a small pan with 1/2 tbsp golden syrup.
- Added 175g of 53% dark chocolate and left for a couple of minutes.
- Stirred until well mixed and smooth.
- Sandwiched the large cakes together with chocolate blackberry jam.
- Topped with the ganache.
- Piped lines of white chocolate ganache on top and then used a tooth pick to feather the lines – or at least attempted too.
- Cut the mini cakes in half, sandwiched with the jam then topped with the ganache.
The batter rose so well, that it annoyingly overflowed, which was not quite what I was looking for. The mixture was also a little fragile, so needed to be handled quite carefully when still warm. It was, however, very light and quite delicious. CT, who wasn’t party to the intricacies of the creation, was quite taken by the unexpected pleasure of the blackberry jam cunningly secreted in the middle – ooh he said.
Jam and chocolate? Yes, you read the title correctly. Who need chocolate spread? This seedless blackberry jam is made with apples to help it set and a big slab of chocolate for pure luxury. It’s a veritable breeze to make and it has a rich taste of both fruit and chocolate. Roll over chocolate spread.
Bramble (or blackberry) and apple is such a classic combination, I thought it ought to be tried in cupcake form. I’ve been wanting to make something along these lines for a long time. At last my blackberry and apple cupcakes have come to fruition. Read on for the recipe.
Anyone familiar with Indian sweets will have tasted barfi. But what about blackberry barfi? Cornish blackberries meet exotic India in this sweet fusion fest. There’s also coconut and subtle hints of rose.