Blackberry picking! Here in Holland autumn is in the air and it is time to go foraging again. Braving the thorns and the stinging nettles like guards round the best clusters, my daughter and I stuff the fattest berries in our mouths while saving a few to take home. I had planned to add them to an almond cake to cut the richness, but my little Braun blender has given up the ghost after years of heavy use and I couldn’t grind the nuts. We had the berries with ice cream that night. Then I wanted to pick some more to combine with chocolate. This recipe is based on one for chocolate pear tart by Nigel Slater, one of my heroes. I love his down to earth attitude and the pleasure in food that permeates his writing. If you have any blackberries left over, they give smoothies a vivid violet colour.
(serves three greedy people)
100 gr dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
60 gr butter
2 eggs, separated
75 gr caster sugar
pinch bicarbonate of soda
handful of blackberries, or other tart berries
Melt the chocolate and butter over a low heat or in the microwave on medium. Stir until smooth and allow to cool.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda until very stiff.
In a separate bowl whisk the sugar and the yolks until pale and thick.
Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the yolks. (The cooling is important or you might scramble the egg – it happens…)
Fold in the whites.
Pour into a tin or dish about 18 x 22 cm and sprinkle with the blackberries.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees C.
Serve hot, warm or cold, with cream if desired.