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The Art of Darkness: Black Fruit and Valrhona Chocolate Cobbler

The Art of Darkness: Black Fruit and Valrhona Chocolate Cobbler

Give in to the Art of Darkness and experience the sinister side of a classic dessert.
By Amanda Brooke Bothwell

Spring has made its welcome arrival: the freshness in the air, the awakening of the wildlife, the colors, sounds, smells all claiming renewal. It’s a joyous time, a lighthearted time, where the flavors found on the table are a glistening reflection of the lively world outside.

And the beer. Oh, the beer. By the time winter has announced its last call, I think we’re all ready to move from the heavy stouts and porters onto some lighter hefeweizens and Belgian Wits. So, naturally, do I have a bright and bubbly beer to couple with a fresh spring dessert?

Of course not.

What I do have picked out is Ommegang’s limited edition Art of Darkness Ale. If anything says spring, this is not it. Rather, from first impression this beer says something more along the lines of “Go back to the hell you came from, but kindly take me with you.” It’s a lovely strong ale with deep fruit and caramel flavors, and I think it needs to be appreciated while it’s around.

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To play on the brew’s darkness, I decided on a Black Fruit and Valrhona Chocolate Cobbler. This cobbler uses black plums, black grapes and a touch of dried tart cherries topped with a deep chocolate pastry.

What is it that draws us in to the art of darkness? Does it allure us with its ambiguity, tempt us with its promise of mystery? Perhaps its sultry, mischievous nature is what convinces us to come-hither, away from all things clean and pure. Whatever it is, it certainly was powerful enough to have the perfect offerings of spring overlooked, at least for just a moment.

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Black Fruit and Valrhona Chocolate Cobbler

  • Author: Amanda Brooke Bothwell
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


A darker version of a classic fruit dessert with a rich chocolate topping.


  • 6 cups (1.1kg) mixed black fruit, halved or sliced (black plums, seedless black grapes)
  • 1/4 cup (38g) dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup (100.6g) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tsp (12.6g) cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp (28.7g) melted butter

Valrhona Chocolate Cobbler

  • 1 cup (99.4g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (97.6g) wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup (55.6g) Valrhona cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup (150.8g) brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp (9.4g) baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup cold (172.1g) butter, cubed
  • 1 cup cold (243.7g) milk
  • 1 Tbsp (12g) turbinado sugar
  • Sea salt for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C).
  2. Brush individual ramekins with melted butter.
  3. Mix fruit with sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and salt.
  4. Divide fruit mixture among ramekins.

Valrhona Chocolate Cobbler

  1. Whisk together all-purpose flour, wheat flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Blend in cold butter with a pastry cutter until mixture has a crumbly texture.
  3. Stir in milk until just combined.
  4. Spoon dough on top of fruit mixture, 3-4 spoonfuls per ramekins. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and a touch of sea salt.
  5. Place ramekins on baking sheet and bake 30 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and dough is firm to the touch.
  6. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins


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