Friday, 1 June 2012

Raw Beetroot and Chocolate Almond Brownies

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.
Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
200g plain chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
250g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
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
Method
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.

21 comments:

  1. They look lovely and fudgy - I have tried beetrrot grated in brownies and love it - did you use ground almonds or chopped almonds? You are right about chocolate and beetroot being quite a common pairing - it just works so beautifully

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    1. Thanks Johanna,
      Noted that I forgot to mention the almonds used. to be absolutely honest the dark chocolate contained almonds,but to answer your question they would be chopped - a nice change from walnuts.

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  2. I am going to make these the MINUTE my own beetroot are large enough to pick, what a lovely recipe.

    Thank you for the cheque donation to my Live Below the Line fund, I will forward it on your behalf, many thanks.

    Have a wonderful Jubilee Weekend, fingers crossed for some sunshine.

    Sue xx

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    1. Thanks Sue,
      The beetroot used here came from a farm in Evesham, England (about 1 1/2 hour from South Wales), one of the suppliers for the greengrocers I go to and will soon be using for my cafe/restuarant.

      Its my absolute pleasure for the donation/sponsorship. x

      Re the weather, sadly it has turned. I feel for those who have street parties planned.

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  3. I love beetroot with chocolate.
    Beet-chocolate cake is one of my classics. Sometimes with carrot too.
    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks - I do love carrot cake too.

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  4. I have only eaten beetroot in savoury dishes, but I'm sure these brownies taste like heaven!

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    1. You should try chocolate brownies one day, they are truly lovely.

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  5. YUM! those look so delicious and fudgy!! oh jeez---it's only 10am and i'm already craving chocolate! this could be a long day! haha thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Thanks for making me smile - these certainly are fudgy and a little chewy too :)

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  6. Brilliant Shaheen and just what I need to get over my beetroot phobia...

    Just one question being a beetroot novice...do I need to peel it first?

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    1. Thanks GD. I am hoping to make some for the cafe, so maybe you wo't have to wait long to try these :) It took me a while to get over my negative attitude towards beetroot too, and this recipe sure helped, but it wasn't the one that converted me. RE your question, I noted my ommission from the recipe, thanks for gently pointing it out - the beetroot has to be peeled first :)

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  7. I adore beetroot brownies and these look particularly good - I've never tried including almonds! The fudgy centres are wonderful.

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    1. Thanks Kari, the almond make an interesting change from walnuts.

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  8. I think I like your mother!!! Big smile.

    The brownies look great...but I dunno...I trusted you with the rhubarb and lentil curry...wouldn't have believed it's wonderfulness...but I'm working up to raw beets with chocolate. Might take a bit of encouragement yet. )))

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    1. Guess what i had four of my nephews over yesterday, two of them wanting to try the beetroot brownies, except sadly they did not as their bellies were full of veggie burgers.

      Now re your feelings towards beetroot, I totally understand. I was never a beetroot girl, until maybe five - six years ago. I would def. say try this recipe, maybe with walnuts instead of almonds, and of course you can cook the beetroot if you so wish. But if you want encouragement then please wait, I have made some beetroot bites, not a sweet cake - but fritter like and they may appeal to you. But if you've trusted me this far, I am sure you will like these x

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  9. Yum...! The brownies look so moist and inviting. I am definitely keeping this recipe for next time.

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    1. Thanks Sri, I do hope you like them. I will def. be making them for my new upcoming project.

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  10. I have known this perfect combo for a while too, but only have made beetroot & dark chocolate cake 2 times. These brownies look to die for,...heaven on a plate! I think it is a great idea to use raw beetroot, for added flavour!

    You are a real genius! xxx

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  11. Thanks Sophie.
    Not a genius - just lazy :) Thanks though, made me smile.

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  12. I think this would be lovely to have in your new cafe. Lots of luck with the cafe hope its a huge success.

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