Blackberry Chocolate Cake
A great man once said, “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day but if you teach a man how to bake with blackberries, he’ll eat for a lifetime.” Right? It goes something like that. Like its berry brothers and sisters, the blackberry is incredibly versatile. I think. I love blackberries. I eat them all the time. On their own they are–excuse the language but–fucking delicious. I love them in berry pies and in ice cream and in cobblers and crisps. But… But I am having a heck of a time making them work in cake. First there was the seed dilemma–see my blackberry coffee cake post. Now there is this, yet another hiccup.
There I said it. I, Russell van Kraayenburg, am hitting some road blocks in my chase. The blackberry road is not easy. Or is it the road less traveled is not easy? Whatever the appropriate saying is, why can’t I get blackberries to work in a cake? Don’t get me wrong. This cake is delicious. The only problem is the blackberry is a very subdued note in this very chocolately, rich cake. Honestly, I love this cake. Maybe I just need to pile up the plate with blackberries and call it a day?
Let’s talk more about blackberries. We all know that the blueberry is the superman of fruit, but did you know the blackberry is also quite healthy. They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and then loads of other big sciencey words that I am sure mean good things. And those somewhat annoying seeds, they’re loaded with omega-3 and -6 fats among a lot of other stuff. Also, did you know most blackberries come from Oregon? So if you’re a fan of supporting Oregon’s economy, you should pick up a few bushels–I don’t even know if that is true, it just sounded about right. Their close cousin, a favorite of mine, is the dewberry and grows like a weed all over the south. My neighborhood is inundated with them. That means I stock up in the spring and replace all my blackberry recipes with dewberry recipes. None of this helps me with my cake though. I’m stalling.
Yeah. So let’s recap. This cake is delicious. It has a lot of blackberries in it (both pureed and whole) which means this is a chocolate cake with a healthy kick–can you say that about cake? But somehow with the pounds of blackberries, it only has a little hint of blackberry taste in it. Can I, should I call it a blackberry cake? No probably not. I told a friend I’d give him a blackberry recipe (see my guacamole two ways and my jalapeño-pesto stuffed burgers) so while I am submitting this as a, hey I’m still working on this blackberry thing, I will be sure to come back with another blackberry recipe, a much better blackberry recipe. I want a blackberry recipe that screams, BLACKBERRIES YUM!
Until then, here is a recipe that screams CHOCOLATE YUM and whispers blackberries. You can serve this cake with chocolate ganache icing or powdered sugar or you can pour a pint of blackberries on top.
Blackberry Chocolate Cake
Ingredients 12 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) all purpose flour 1 pound (about 2 cups) sugar 4 ounces (1 1/4 cup) good unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoon powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup buttermilk 1 stick melted butter 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/4 cup fresh brewed coffee 3/4 cup pureed blackberries, strained to remove the seeds 2 cups whole blackberries Instructions 1. Butter and flour a bundt pan. Preheat an oven to 350F. 2. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt) in a mixer bowl. 3. Mix the buttermilk, butter, eggs and vanilla together in a sperate bowl. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients slowly while mixing on low. 4. Slowly add the coffee into the batter while mixing on low. 5. Fold in the blackberry puree and blackberries into the batter. 6. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. 7. Bake the cake 45 to 50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs handing on. 8. Let the cake cool a few minutes before inverting and removing from the pan. 9. Let cool completely.
So there it is, my delicious misstep on the way to find the perfect blackberry recipe. Will I ever find it? I sure hope so! If the legend about not picking blackberries after Old Michaelmas Day is true, then I only have until October to get his down unless I’m going to wait for 2012.
What is your favorite thing to do with blackberries?