Nowadays, lots of chef spout that it is their mission to re-introduce beetroot to the masses and therefore have tried to come up with inventive and innovative recipes to appeal even to the carnivorous and it certainly has worked. As over the past five years or so, the beetroot has re-emerged in a number of appealing disguises, whether its savoury such as: beetroot risotto, beetroot fritters; or sweets such as: beetroot cake, beetroot muffins, beetroot ice-cream and of course, beetroot and chocolate brownies - how can one resist?!
Well, I have to admit, I have delved into lots of beetroot recipes over the past 10 years, but have been lazy at making my own Beetroot Chocolate Brownies at home, simply because they were appearing at most eateries I frequented. However this was to change this week, when I picked up another bunch of beetroot still with red vein leaves in tact. Sadly, the heat of the recent sunshine quickly affected the freshness of the beetroot leaves so this was discarded. Also the beetroot skin was starting to soften too, so rather than lob it in the compost bin - I thought it was about time I had a go at making some Beetroot and Chocolate Brownies at home. Call it my laziness, but I did not bother boiling or roasting the beetroot and simply grated and added it raw to the chocolate batter. It made a wonderful difference, compared to other Beetroot brownies I've enjoyed in the past, this one not only retained its red velvet colouring, I noted that there was a bit more chew to the brownie too. I liked it. More so my mother Loved it, so much so - she did not share her generous piece with her grandchildren and that action itself speaks volumes.
I know many fellow bloggers are familiar with Beetroot and Chocolate Brownies, thanks namely to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall - a food inspiration of mine since his days as host for TV Dinners, but I have to admit, I was introduced to the chocolate and beetroot combination a long while ago when trying to get my head round eating beetroot, I think it may have been thanks to a vegetarian chef called Nadine Abensur.
Also one of the first blogs, I came across showcasing 'Beetroot in a Chocolate Brownie' was this one and the author acknowledged discovering the recipe in Cuisine Gourmande . I especially liked the fact that she used raw beetroot. I also saw a Beetroot Brownie Cake recipe in a cookbook previous to Hugh's, unfortunately I cannot think which veggie cookbook it was, and it is simply for this reason that I decided to go ahead and make a slight variation of Hugh's recipe.
I am sharing this recipe with Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes. Jacqueline is hosting Junes Edition of Bookmarked Recipes: a monthly blog event initiated by Ruth of Ruth's Kitchen Experiments. I have seen the recipe reproduced on a number of blogs, so as well as providing a link to the original recipe below, I have decided to go ahead and share it here, with my very slightly adapted alterations.
Raw Beetroot and Chocolate Almond Brownies
Makes 10 squares if you want big indulgent greedy slices; or15 pieces if your being very good.
250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
200g plain chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
250g golden caster sugar
150g self-raising flour (we use wholemeal self-raising)
Pinch of salt
50g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped (optional)
250g raw beetroot, peeled and grated
Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170oc. Lightly grease a baking tin that's roughly xx. Line the bottom with baking paper too.
Put the cubed butter and chocolate into a bain marie or heatproof bowl and melt the chocolate and butter in the bowl held over a pan of simmering water.
In another bowl, whisk the golden sugar with the eggs. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Sift in the flour and salt, stir gently, folding in the (optional) almonds and beetroot. Pour carefully into the prepared tin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Be very careful not to overcook the brownies. Remove from the oven, then stand the tray on a wire rack until cool enough to cut into squares. Slightly adapted from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls recipe here.