Very Berry, Very Chocolatey Brownies
Warning: The following images may make you hungry. Very hungry. They might even entice you to go hunting for chocolate at any expense. Proceed at your own discretion.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
What did I tell you? You want one now, don’t you? And you should. These are without a doubt, hands down the best brownies I have ever sunk my teeth into and one of the most decadent treats I’ve ever baked up, if I do say so myself. These Very Berry Brownies are completely irresistible and entirely devourable. So wipe that drool off your keyboard and get to the store because you need to make these. Now.
It all started with some innocent berry picking. It was a sunny Sunday morning in Portland and my sister and I needed to make a dessert to bring to a BBQ at our dad’s house. He’d requested something with fresh summer fruit and my sister came up with the genius idea of going to a farm to pick berries, which we would then use to make dessert. Well, if you know anything about me and berry picking, then you know I don’t really have an “off” button. I’ll go until several buckets are full or my arms fall off. So even though we only needed about 6 cups worth to make a decent berry crisp, I wound up picking a good 6 pounds worth to bring home with me to Seattle. Don’t judge me. These marionberries were gorgeous and abundant and I was really doing them all a favor by helping them fulfill their culinary destinies.
Oh boy, did these berries have a glorious fate awaiting them! Cooked into a thick jam and spread in a layer on top of the fudgiest, richest brownies of all time, the berries played their part beautifully, melding with the dense chocolate and adding pleasant tartness. Taking a bite of these brownies is like sipping a fine wine, the different flavor components awakening different taste buds to create a perfect blend on your tongue.
Sorry to wax poetic, but they really are that good.
Very Berry Brownies
© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart
Yield: 24 brownies
- 3 lbs fresh marionberries (if you can’t get marionberries where you are, blackberries would be equally good, or do a combination of blackberries and raspberries)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 5 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- To make the jam, combine the berries and 1/2 cup sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced by half, stirring occasionally (be careful, as the jam will splatter!). This will take about 30-45 minutes. Pour into a wide dish and place in the refrigerator to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the brownies. Combine the chocolates, butter and espresso powder in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (a double boiler). Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine the flours, cocoa, salt and cinnamon and set aside.
- Add the sugars to the melted chocolate and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients and gently fold into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Use a toothpick or skewer to prick holes into the surface of the brownies. Spread the jam (it should be about room temperature at this point) over the entire surface of the brownies. Let set for at least 30 minutes before cutting (you can put them in the fridge to make this happen faster, but don’t leave them in too long or the brownies will get really firm). Cut yourself a big square and enjoy!