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Blackberry and bay brownies

Blackberry and bay are flavours which I imagine a woodland fairy tale to taste like, fragrant and tart, floral and woody. Add chocolate and you have the most sophisticated chocolate brownie recipe, there's no tooth-jangling sweetness. Instead it's just smooth and hopelessly indulgent.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Baking, Dessert, sweet
Cuisine: American, British
Keyword: bay leaves, blackberry, chocolate brownies
Servings: 6
Author: Adapted from Claire Thomson’s recipe


  • 200 g good-quality dark chocolate
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 g soft light muscovado sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 175 g blackberries
  • 5 bay leaves


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking parchment.
  • Break up the chocolate and, along with the butter, put it in a microwave-proof dish with a lid. Melt on low for 2 minutes, check to see if the butter has melted then repeat for another minute. Leave the lid on and set aside for the liquid butter to continue to melt the chocolate.
  • Crack the eggs into a large bowl and add the sugar. Using electric beaters, whisk the mixture into a pale, foamy mousse. This will take about five minutes of constant whisking. The eggs will double in volume and when you lift out the beaters, a thick ribbon of mixture should sit on top of the mousse for about two seconds.
  • Stir together the melted chocolate and butter and pour it slowly into the eggs. Fold together gently, gradually criss-crossing the mousse with dark streaks of chocolate. Sift over the flour and cocoa powder and fold it in until fudgy and there are no lumps of flour.
  • Fold in 125g blackberries then tip it into the baking tray. Dot with the remaining blackberries and the bay leaves, gently pushing them into the surface.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-30 minutes. You’ll know when they’re done as the brownies have a smooth ripple when you juggle the tray and the surface is crispy. Leave to cool in the tin then cut into squares.