Aka Red Velvet Brownies
Completely irresistible, these sumptuous brownies contain good-for-you beetroot and dark chocolate. Honestly, they are practically a health supplement!
The beetroot’s naturally sweet, earthy taste enhances the chocolate beautifully, yet without any hint whatsoever of a vegetable nature.
A food processor makes mixing quick and easy. As with any brownies, don’t over-bake so they stay deliciously moist and squidgy.
First bake your beetroot (or see Tip below).
Take 225g fresh, unpeeled raw beetroot: choosing similar size globes.
Clean and trim leaves and roots: not too closely as beetroot will ‘bleed’.
Roast in a foil-covered ovenproof dish, at 180C (fan oven or equivalent) for 1-1½ hours until tender.
Peel whilst hot: hold in place with a dinner fork and peel with a sharp knife. Chop roughly.
In the absence of fresh beetroot (or time!) substitute the same prepared weight (175g) of cooked vacuum packed beetroot. Any leftovers are delicious baked with a little oil and a scattering of thyme leaves as a main meal accompaniment or simply diced for salads with a few snipped chives.
Cuts into 16 squares
- 175g prepared beetroot (see above)
- 175g soft dark brown sugar
- 110g salted butter, softened
- 150g plain flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 level teaspoons cream of tartar
- 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 75g 70% dark chocolate chopped into roughly ½ cm pieces
Preheat oven to 160C (fan oven) or equivalent
You will need a greased 20cm square brownie tin lined with a piece of greaseproof paper cut to fit the bottom
Tip the sugar into the processor bowl; add the beetroot and whiz until smooth.
Add the butter to beetroot mix and whiz to combine (don’t worry if it looks a little strange at this stage).
Add the raising agents to the flour and cocoa.
Sieve half the flour/cocoa over the mixture. Add the eggs and vanilla.
Sieve in the remaining flour/cocoa. Whiz again.
(Stop the machine a couple of times and scrape the mixture down from the sides with a flexible spatula.)
Once fully mixed, add the chopped chocolate: give it a single quick whiz to combine.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, easing it into the corners.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted still shows faint traces of mixture.
Cool in the tin.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
This simplified version of American-style ‘boiled’ chocolate fudge frosting sets the brownies off a treat.
- 110g granulated sugar40g salted butter
- 40ml semi-skimmed milk 90g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
Combine the sugar, butter, and milk in a small heavy bottomed saucepan.
Bring to the boil stirring constantly. Boil for 30 seconds, still stirring.
Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until melted.
The moment the chocolate has melted, pour the frosting over the cooled brownies and, working as quickly as possible, smooth into place and right into the corners with a flexible spatula.
Do not disturb the frosting further at all until it has set. Then, mark carefully into squares.
If you ever need to double frosting quantities for a double batch of brownies or to frost a large cake, boil for 1 minute.
Incidentally . . . .
This last photo shows the first time out for this recipe back in March 2015: it's so reliable and always turns out well. I've made it loads of times since for cake sales but we always have so much trouble letting it go, we want to eat them all ourselves!