Monday, July 09, 2012

Chocolate Berry Crumble

During the week of July 4th, we were blessed to spend a couple days with my brother and sister-in-law who live in Indiana, PA, home of my college alma mater, IUP. And as any good houseguest does, I perused their book shelves to see if there was anything of interest.

I found a gem, and my sister-in-law, Krista, who is a gem herself told me to take it for my own: a cookbook entitled "Eat Out! The Outdoor Entertaining Cookbook."  Chockfull of recipes with ingredients I love such as fresh herbs, veggies and beans, the book was a delight to pore over.

Only arriving home Saturday night, I nevertheless tried a recipe first thing for our traditional Sunday night, "breakfast for dinner." And, of course it involved chocolate!

Here is the recipe with additional comments at the end:

2 cups fresh blueberries (I used frozen)
2 cups fresh raspberries (I used frozen)
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (I used frozen blackberries)
1  1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 unsalted butter, chilled, cut up
1/3 cup buttermilk*
1 egg

1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 9 inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray (or coat w/ butter). In large bowl, combine berries, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of the flour; mix gently.  Spoon into pan.

2. In medium bowl, combine remaining 1 cup flour, cocoa, 3/4 cup sugar, baking soda, salt; mix well.  With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture crumbles.  In small bowl, combine buttermilk and egg; blend well.  Stir egg mixture into flour mixture until well blended.

3. Drop dough by spoonfuls over berry mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar (I omitted this part).

4. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and cobbler is set.  (Top surface should be dull and dry to the touch.)

5. Meanwhile, in small bowl, whip cream with 1 tablespoon sugar until sugar soft peaks form. Cover; refrigerate. Serve warm cobbler with whipped cream.

*Many people, including myself, don't keep buttermilk on hand. So, an easy way to make buttermilk using fresh milk is as follows: 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of fresh milk. I usually put the lemon juice or vinegar into my measuring cup and then fill the rest with milk. For this recipe, you would use 1 teaspoon of vinegar to 1/3 cup milk.

My notes: 
In true Briana fashion, I used what I had. I didn't have fresh berries; I had frozen. And, I'm impatient, so instead of letting my berries thaw slowly on the countertop, I threw the frozen berries into a large skillet along with the sugar and flour. I then let it heat over medium heat and stirred until the berries were thawed and well combined with the sugar and flour. I then simply dropped spoonfuls of the dough on top of the berries right in my skillet pan which was oven safe. I threw the entire thing in the oven like that...a skillet cobbler.

Also, my children didn't care for this dessert because of the seeds in the berries. An easy remedy would be to choose seedless berries or fruit according to your children's liking. OR, make it with the seeded berries and enjoy the entire thing by yourself, like I am doing!

I also omitted the whipped cream on top simply because I didn't have whipping cream. It was absolutely delicious without it, but of course would only be better with it I believe!