Those of you who follow me on Twitter might know that I’ve got a very exciting and hectic few weeks ahead of me. I’ll be relocating from Bristol to London just before new year to start a brand new job fundraising for the Prince’s Trust – an amazing charity, and one I feel absolutely honoured to be joining.
You may also have noticed my numerous tweets whinging about packing up my life – sorry about that! This will be the third time I’ve moved around Christmas, and my 13th move in 23 years on this earth. You could say I should be a pro by now – which I am – but it doesn’t make me detest the process any less.
So, clearly, I need incentives. Incentives to reward myself every time I clear out a kitchen cupboard, empty a bookshelf, or bag up half of my wardrobe. Yes?
The other night, I told myself that if I packed three boxes, I could bake some brownies. Three boxes, two bags, and a tidy kitchen later, I started making my brownies, smug at having surpassed myself. I adapted my recipe from one of my favourite books, and one I regularly bang on about – Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache – and got baking.
Now, I know that beetroot and chocolate are a good match. I just had no idea they were this good. These are some of the best brownies I’ve ever baked or eaten.
Don’t believe me? My lovely friend Sarah – fabulous foodie, fellow home baker and all-round goddess – described them as
‘totally f***ing amazing’
– a description she does not use lightly.
They are devilishly dense, yet miraculously light. Sweet, yet romantically dark and earthy. They taste like they should be a thousand calories, yet come in at 265. I could (and did) eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are – in short – dangerously good.
Bake at your own peril.
Dangerously Good Beetroot Brownies
- 400g vacuum packed cooked beetroot (not in vinegar!) diced into small squares
- 100g ground almonds
- 3 medium eggs
- 220g golden caster or light muscovado sugar
- 70g cocoa powder
- 1/4tsp salt
- 150g dark chocolate (min. 67% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces.
- 3 tbsp white rice flour (or plain flour)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1tsp vanilla extract
Chopped nuts of your choice – I used hazelnuts
- Preheat your oven to 160/325 F/ gas mark 3. Line a 27cm X 20 cm X 5cm brownie tin (I used a deeper square silicon tin, but rectangular would have been better). Lightly brush with a little oil.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt with a hand-held whisk in a large mixing bowl for 5 minutes until tripled in volume.
- Whack the diced beetroot into a suitable medium sized bowl and pop in the microwave with a splash of water for three minutes until piping hot. Blend into a puree, adding a little water if necessary – but not too much.
- Ensure it’s still hot and throw in the chunks of chocolate. Cover with clingfilm and let the chocolate melt for a couple of minutes. Stir in the chocolate until you have a gorgeously purple puree.
- Return to your egg mixture. Beat in the ground almonds, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Add the beetroot chocolate puree and fold in thoroughly.
- Pour into the tin, smooth with a pallette knife or the back of a spoon, and sprinkle your chopped nuts on top to decorate. Bake for 35 minutes in the middle of the oven.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, before cutting into (small) portions.
Go on, I dare you….