This recipe looks and smells exactly like the brownies one of my sisters used to make when we were much younger. She loves brownies, and (still) considers herself somewhat of a brownie-making connoisseur, which, in all fairness, I could easily believe. Of course, these little squares are not brownies, especially considering their texture: they are not gooey, like a good brownie should be. This is definitely a cake. Moist, soft, chocolatey cake heaven. The other real differences between my sister’s brownies and this cake is the addition of the blackberries and strong espresso (curtesy of Djamo who loves a triple shot of espresso any time of the day). It combines the fresh sweetness of blackberries and the acidic, earthiness of coffee, which, in my own opinion, really take these little cakes to the next level. Need it be said that these taste amazing with an afternoon cup of coffee?
Another thing I remember, is my youngest sister smothering her brownie-like-sheet-cake in what seemed like an inch of chocolate fudge frosting before decorating with whatever happened to be on hand: desiccated coconut, sprinkles, chunks of more chocolate, you name it. Djamo loves brownies (slight addiction) and a recent convert to milkshakes *does a little dance*, and malted milkshakes *heavy breathing* and I’m slowly trying to persuade him to give marshmallows and hot chocolates another try. After all, he has only ever had store-bought marshmallows way back as a child, which, in all honesty, even I get very picky with (for some unknown reason, I will only eat the white marshmallows and I will always steer completely clear of those pink ones) and when it comes to hot chocolate (again, something he last tried as a youth), I have never found that powdery stuff appealing whatsoever (my brother is the complete opposite and adored slurping up his chocolate cereal milk in the morning and having his hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream on cold days and before bed).
Saying that, keep your eyes peeled for the next post, which *spoiler alert* may put Djamo in a bit of a deep end. However, I do think he may definitely enjoy whatever will be in that post, given the chance to try a homemade version of it. 😉 There is always hope, and here is me simply hoping. 😀
In other news, Djamo and I attempted to enter a PYO farm over the weekend, only to find that the gates were still closed (completely my fault for not checking) and that they haven’t opened up for the season yet. Maybe it’s because I live further North and at a little higher up then most people that our local PYO needs another week or two before all their lovely produce can be picked (and eaten) at perfection. We’ve been going back to the same farm for 2 years now, and love the variety of fruits (and ice-creams) that they offer during the picking months. This year, I have my sights on the strawberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries, especially the gooseberries, as they have been absolutely impossible to find anywhere in my county. I’m just grateful that they have them as I made something absolutely delicious from a bag of them I found down near Bath last summer.
You may be wondering why I’ve decided to use blackberries when we’ve only just stepped into summer? Well, a few posts back, I mentioned having cleaned out my refrigerator and found last year’s PYO bounty behind the ice-cream tube. The frozen blackberries were the last of my winnings and I really wanted to put them into good use and, lo and behold, here we are.
Chocolate Blackberry Cake
adapted from: Call me Cupcake
Cooking time: 1 hour, plus cooling time
Makes: 1 cake (20 x 20cm tin)
Mocha Squares or Kärleksmum (one of its many names in Sweden) is a very popular sweet treat. Our local cafe and bakery have started making them and since they were so delicious, I decided to create a similar version with the addition of fruit. Feel free to use any other fruit that you happen to have on hand.
200g caster sugar
250g plain flour
1 1/4tsp baking powder
1/2tsp vanilla bean paste
100ml whole milk
30ml heavy cream
pinch of salt
3tbsp cocoa powder
200g blackberries, defrosted or fresh
unsweetened desiccated coconut (for decorating)
Preheat the oven to 170ºC (150ºC fan-assisted) 325ºF. Sieve the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and baking powder together and set aside.
With a whisk, cream the butter and sugar together until light in colour and fluffy. Add the 4 eggs, one at a time, whisking continuously. Next, add the vanilla, salt, milk and cream. Stir until combined before slowly adding the dry mixture. When all the dry mixture is incorporated, scatter in the blackberries and carefully fold into the batter. Pour the cake batter into a 20 x 20cm cake tin lined with baking parchment and placing in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. (note: at the 20 minute mark, check the cake and place a sheet of aluminium over the top).
When ready, take out of the oven and allow to cool completely in the cake tin. When completely cooled, spread the frosting on the top and scatter desiccated coconut on top. Cut into 9-12 squares. Eat within 3 days.
Dark Chocolate Mocha Frosting
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: enough for a 20 x 20cm cake
50g dark chocolate (68%)
1tsp black cocoa powder (optional)
1tsp vanilla bean paste
100g confectionary sugar
80g butter, room temperature
3tbsp freshly brewed espresso, cooled completely
1-2tbsp whole milk
pinch of salt
In a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. When completely molten, take off the saucepan and set aside for a few minutes. Meanwhile cream the butter and confectionary sugar together along with the cocoa powder, vanilla paste, milk, salt and espresso. Pour the slightly cooled chocolate into the frosting and stir until a smooth frosting is formed. Set aside until needed.
Thank you for reading.