March Seasonal Ingredient- Beetroot Brownies

A few days ago we had the wonderful savoury caramelised onion and beetroot tart, well now get ready for beetroots on a sweeter scale! The last time I used veg in a brownie recipe it DID NOT go well (take my advice, never use kale in a brownie recipe), but I was pleasantly surprised with these. I got the recipe from BBCGoodFood, as usual, it was simple to follow and used basic ingredients but it does use both an electric mixer and a food processor, you do need the food processor for this one as you have to whizz down the beetroot into the mix so it combines just right with all the other flavours and textures. So, if you’ve got your mixer and food processor/blender at the ready then let’s go! 

Makes 12-15 brownies 

500g Raw Beetroot 
100g Unsalted Butter 
200g Plain Chocolate 
2 tsp Vanilla Extract 
250g Caster Sugar 
3 Eggs 
100g Plain Flour 
25g Cocoa Powder 

 First of all, we need to peel the beetroot, I know some people get really hung up on the fact that beetroot stains your skin and clothes, which it does. If you are worried just wear gloves but I found that as soon as I washed my hands with soap and water the dye just came right off, even after I let it dry on, so although I wouldn’t risk it with your clothes I don’t think you’ll have an issue getting it off your hands. Take the roots and leaves off both ends and peel the beetroots then place them in a microwave-safe bowl with a couple tbsp of water. 
Put the beetroot in the microwave on high for about 10-12 minutes until they’re soft. 

Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160 Fan/ Gas Mark 4 and grease a small roasting tin. Whilst the beetroot is softening add the butter, plain chocolate and vanilla essence into the food processor or blender. When the beetroot is cooked, drain away any liquid and then add it to the bowl.

Process the ingredients until they’re liquified and the mixture is as smooth as you can get it, it should be very thick. 

Now, in an electric mixer whisk the eggs and sugar together until they’re pale and frothy.

Spoon out the beetroot mixture into the egg mixture and gently fold with a large metal spoon, we want to keep as much of the air from the eggs as possible.

Add in the flour and cocoa powder and continue to gently fold until everything is fully combined. 

Pour the mixture into the tin and spread evenly around so it reaches all the corners and sides, then smooth it over with the back of a spoon. Bake the brownies in the oven for 25-30 mins until it’s well risen but just slightly gooey in the centre. Once it’s cooked, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool for around 15 mins before slicing up and serving! 

I think my favourite thing about these brownies has to be the colour, I knew beetroot is a natural dye/colouring but the deep redness stayed better than pretty much any man-made food dye would! I can already picture the incredible Halloween recipes you could make with these. The taste is really good too, they have just a hint of that earthy beetroot, enough to notice but not enough to really throw the flavour off, they’re beautifully rich and fudgy…and I've heard because of the beetroot, they’re half the fat of a normal brownie! So not only can you trick your fussy eaters into eating their vegetables, but their new favourite treat is also (kind of) healthy for them too! Like I said, you do need both a mixer and a food processor/blender to make this but I think it's a great thing to try with kids, they’ll love getting all the beetroot juice all over them! 
I’ve loved trying beetroot for the first time in these seasonal ingredient recipes, it’s always fun to use something you know you love, but to try something for the first time in two really, really decadent dishes is the whole reason I started this seasonal ingredient segment in the first place! Give them a go, I know you’ll like them and you’ve got plenty of time to perfect them before we use them for some spooky Halloween recipes! 

H x