If you thought that brownies couldn’t get more decadent and scrumptious, you need to try these today! Add in the element of fresh blackberries and you have an amazing mix – chocolate plus berry goodness equals chocolate brownies with blackberry buttercream. Perfect for using plump summer blackberries in a deliciously different way.
You probably already know that I’m in love with the luscious fruits of summer… there are so many different ones available now; I have a difficult time choosing what to focus on when we go shopping. They’re all just so colorful and tempting!
I’ve gone on and on about how much I adore blackberries in this recipe for fresh blackberry cobbler. But, some time back, Jay and I were sitting around talking about the possibility of dessert and he said he was in the mood for brownies. I’m always up for brownies, because they are so quick and yummy, but I also had some blackberries that needed to be eaten. So I decided to put them together and I am so glad I did!
This recipe is so easy and taking a few more minutes to prepare the blackberries just elevates regular brownies into something much more interesting, not to mention they look so pretty! It’s a perfect mix of rich chocolate with the fruity-sweet depth of the blackberry flavor. I don’t always frost brownies but this chocolate buttercream is so delish… it really makes these brownies something special.
The first step is preparing the blackberry puree, which is even easier than making blackberry jam. You can make this recipe with ready made blackberry jam if you don’t have fresh blackberries on hand; you’d just replace the blackberry puree with jam and strain out the seeds.
First we place the washed fresh blackberries in a heavy bottomed pot and add some lemon juice. You may need to add a little water but not too much… you’ll want the blackberries to become soft and the syrup to thicken, but we’re not boiling the fruit long enough to boil off excess water, so go easy on the water.
When the blackberries are soft, will smush easily with the back of your spoon, and the juice is syrupy (but not evaporated away!) we then put the mixture through a fine strainer to remove the seeds We’ll add a little bit of that mixture and add it to your brownie batter before baking.
The rest of the blackberry sauce will be used for the frosting.… I’ve made this recipe more than once and I tried it one time without straining the seeds out and it was ok… but kind of annoying to have those little seeds in the creamy frosting.
The brownies are simple to put together and the directions for the chocolate blackberry buttercream are in the recipe card below. These brownies are made with cocoa powder and the key to fantastic cocoa brownies is that you have to use good dark cocoa powder… good quality (organic) cocoa powder (with a high percentage of cacao, therefore, higher mineral nutrient content) puts you well on your way to successful cocoa brownies.
I’ve already touched on the health benefits of cacao in my almond chocolate chunk cookie recipe and I wrote a whole article about how purple foods (like blackberries!) that contain bioactive anthocyanins are good for us – so not only are these brownies delicious, they also contain some powerful superfoods. 🙂
If you love blackberries and chocolate… even if you haven’t put them together yet, you must try this recipe…
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Fudgy Chocolate Brownies With Blackberry Buttercream
For the Blackberry Sauce:
- 2 cups fresh blackberries, washed and drained
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 TBSP sugar can omit if you choose
- water as needed for boiling
For the Brownies:
- 1⅓ cups flour
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- ¾ cups dark good quality cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2 TBSP blackberry puree
For the Chocolate Blackberry Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4+ cup cocoa powder up to ½ cup, depending on how much chocolate flavor you want
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 TBSP blackberry puree (sauce) more if needed, to taste
- Additional fresh blackberries for garnish if desired
For the Blackberry Puree
- Place washed fresh blackberries in a small heavy bottomed pot, along with lemon juice and sugar and boil until thickened and syrupy, reduced to about ⅓ cup. Berries should mash easily with the back of a spoon.
- Push the cooked berries through a fine strainer to collect puree… be sure that only the seeds remain in the strainer as you want to collect not just the juice but the berry pulp as well. Set aside to cool
For the Brownies:
- Preheat oven to 350°
- In a large mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients and set aside
- In another large bowl, mix sugar with the wet ingredients, stirring thoroughly to incorporate. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat (by hand) until smooth. The brownie batter will be very thick and sticky.
- Scrape all of the batter (with aid of a rubber spatula if necessary) into a greased 9" x 13" or 8" x 8" baking pan. (see notes below)
- Bake between 20-25 minutes. Do not over-bake! Check at 17 minutes for doneness. Brownies are done when a tester stick comes out slightly sticky – brownies will be overcooked and dry if the tester comes out clean!
- For the Chocolate Blackberry Buttercream
- While the brownies cool, put the butter into a standing or hand held mixer and whip at high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy
- Add about half of the powdered sugar and cocoa, plus the salt and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar and cocoa and mix 2-5 minutes more until smooth and creamy. If the frosting is too dry to mix easily, you can add a splash of milk if needed. Taste for amount of chocolate flavor and add more if desired. Add the blackberry puree and blend again to incorporate.
- When brownies are completely cooled, frost with the buttercream. Refrigerate before slicing. Decorate with additional blackberries as desired.