Encouraged by my recent successes in the kitchen (experimenting with kale chips and veggie chips after receiving my first order of organic produce from the Ethical Co-op) I felt inspired to try another experiment, this time, by making something delicious with the lovely bunch of beetroots I had received: Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies.
Here’s the recipe:
- Start by boiling about 250 g of beetroot until it is just ‘al dente’ :-), no longer crunchy, but not falling apart either. Remove the beetroot from heat, and let them cool down properly.
- Pre-heat the oven to about 180 degrees Celsius.
- Using a pat of butter and a paper towel, lightly ‘grease’ a suitable rectangular baking tin – if you like, you can also use some baking parchment, but I generally avoid it, as it can get stuck underneath the brownies, and I don’t particularly like eating paper.
- Chop up 250 g butter into chunks and place in a large bowl above a saucepan filled with hot water.
- Break up a slab (or two) of 250 g dark chocolate (you can also use organic dark cocoa powder or something like that, if you prefer; I didn’t have enough solid chocolate, so I combined the two).
- Add the chocolate to the butter, and melt the two of them together, stirring from time to time.
- In the meantime, grate the beetroot (and try not to grate your fingertips off too…).
- When the butter and the chocolate are both nicely melted and smooth, take the bowl off the heat and allow it to cool just a little.
- Add about 200 to 250 g sugar (caster sugar is more refined, but I usually bake with granulated light brown sugar; you can use less sugar if you prefer a more bitter dark chocolate taste).
- Stir the sugar into the molten butter and chocolate mixture until it is more or less dissolved and smooth.
- Once the mixture is a bit cooler, add 3 medium-sized eggs, one at a time (I’ve always been told not to add cold eggs to a dough mixture that is still too hot).
- Add about 150 g – 200 g self-raising flour, depending on the consistency of the dough.
- You can add a pinch of salt if you’ve used unsalted butter – I usually use normal [salted] butter, so I don’t add more salt.
- Gently fold and stir in the grated beetroot. As with muffins, don’t overbeat the dough – just mix everything lightly.
- Spoon the dough into the baking tin, and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
You’ll know when it’s done, because your nose will tell you – the smell of freshly baked chocolate brownies is utterly irresistible.
If you do have any doubts, stick a knife into the centre of the brownies, and if it comes out dry (but with still a couple of crumbs clinging to the knife), it’s done. If the knife comes out sticky and moist, leave it in for a few more minutes. You can also switch off the oven, so that there is no risk that they could get burned, and leave them in the warm oven for another couple of minutes. (At this stage, it may not be wise to leave them unattended for too long…)
When ready, remove the baking tin from the oven, and – if possible, and if you don’t have staaaarving family members suddenly appearing in the kitchen – leave it to cool for a little bit, until you can lift out the brownie squares without them crumbling to pieces.
(Click on any of the pictures below to enter the slideshow with captions).
p.s. If you do try out this recipe, please let me know how it went?