March. While in some far away corners this means new season’s rhubarb and spring greens, then here in far North it’s time to dig out the last of the last season’s root vegetables and do something nice with them. Beetroot is one of my favourites (see all those beet recipes!?) and luckily it’s one vegetable that’s still nice and good at this time of the year.
Chocolate-laden brownies are loved by many, and here’s a lovely version I’ve been baking recently. The cooked (either boiled or roasted) beet makes these extra moist and soft, and you can easily make this gluten-free by using appropriate flour (see notes below).
Beetroot and Dark Chocolate Brownies
Makes 16 small squares
200 g unsalted butter
200 g dark chocolate (70%)
200 g cooked beetroot
3 large eggs
200 g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
100 g flour*
50 g coarsely chopped almonds or walnuts (optional)
* A note on flour: As my son is sensitive to wheat, I use rye – and a wholemeal rye – when baking this. You can use regular wheat flour for this, or even buckwheat or rice flour for a gluten-free version.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/390 F. Line a 24 cm (10 inch) square cake tin with parchment paper.
Break the chocolate into pieces, cut the butter into chunks. Place both into a small saucepan and heat gently on a low heat, stirring every now and then, until the chocolate melts. Remove from the hob and stir until combined. Leave and let it cool to room temperature.
Finely grate the beets, fold into the melted chocolate and butter mixture.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale. Gently fold in the vanilla, then the beet-chocolate-butter mixture. Finally fold in the flour and the nuts, if using. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes – or only until the cake looks cooked from the top. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting into squares.
Photo by Juta Kübarsepp for Nami-Nami.