Time for something sweet. Elevenses and teatime are, it has to be said two of my favourite times of day. So I am always on the hunt for something to nibble at either or both times of the day. I’m not a natural baker, unlike lots of my friends but I’ve been intrigued about using vegetables in baking since my great friend gave me a beautiful cookery book to say thank you for baking her wedding cake some years ago.
As usual I am trying to use up what’s in the raised beds, or being delivered to people in seasonal veg boxes which I hope you are all still enjoying. So today is a recipe for brownies, but not as you know it. My family famously has a recipe for my Granny’s Chocolate Brownies. They have featured heavily in all our lives, and those of our friends. Whether brought back to school in my tuck box, always in a tin in Granny’s pantry and more recently a firm favourite with all the great-grandchildren. Don’t get excited I’m afraid that’s a family secret so I won’t be publishing that recipe any time soon.
Today it’s all about beetroot. Granny might well be turning in her grave, but stay with me people. The absolute star in these brownies is the earthy beetroot which compliments the rich dark chocolate beautifully. The result is a surprisingly light, moist and rich (if that’s possible!?) brownie which you will only need a small square of-which is also why I love them.
To cook the beetroot, just boil them until tender then peel the skin off and leave to cool. If you buy cooked beetroot just make sure you don’t buy it in vinegar or spices!
This is a super easy ‘nearly’ all in one method, with the sweetness coming from the beetroot, dates and dark chocolate. They come out incredibly dark in colour which I think gives them a slightly mysterious look.
Enjoy them with coffee or tea, or serve as a pudding, warm with ice-cream or crème frâiche. Don’t delay, dig out that beetroot and get baking.
Not Your Normal Brownie
275g cooked beetroot, peeled and cut into cubes
100g coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
3 large eggs
60g cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
100g pitted dates
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g plain dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- Preheat your oven to 200 C, 180 C fan. Take a square loose bottomed 20cm tin, and line it on the bottom and sides with baking paper.
- Put the beetroot, coconut oil, eggs, cocoa and dates into a food processor and blend until everything is well mixed. Next add the flour, salt, bicarb and cinnamon and pulse until combined. If the mixture doesn’t drop off a spatula easily add a touch of water to loosen it.
- Stir in the roughly chopped chocolate, and put into the tin, spreading the mixture out evenly.
- Bake for approx 20 minutes, until just firm to touch and risen nicely.
- Leave in the tin to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
- Cut into squares, and serve with coffee, tea…ice cream…berries…the world is your oyster.
Freeze any left over brownies…hah chance would be a fine thing…