Beetroot and chocolate brownies

I’m in a race against time to eat all the root vegetables on my allotment before the first frosts turn lovely earthy beetroots to slush.
So like the courgettes before I am trying recipes of every kind – soups, roasted, dips and, err, cake.
I first tasted this combination at the River Cottage Canteen in Axeminster and it was great.
It might sound funny but I guess it’s no different to the principles of carrot cake whereby the vegetable adds moisture and bite.
It doesn’t matter what kind of beets you use, I put in a mixture of boltardy and golden but I guess the really red ones make the cakes even darker?
Tip, use a pair of washing up gloves to stop staining your fingers when grating the cooked and cooled beets.
I’ve cooked a beetroot and chocolate fondant pudding recently but this is more of a crowd pleaser.
Thanks to the River Cottage website for this recipe.


Ingredients (makes around 20)

250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
250g dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
3 medium eggs
250g caster sugar
A pinch of sea salt
150g self-raising flour (wholemeal ideally but white works well too)
250g beetroot, boiled until tender, cooled, peeled and grated


1) Grease a shallow baking tin, approximately 20 x 25cm, and line the base with baking parchment.
2) Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt them together in the traditional way, over a pan of hot water.
3) Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. 4) Combine the salt with the flour, sift them over the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Fold in the grated beetroot – be careful not to over-mix or it will make the brownies tough.
5) Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula.
6) Bake for 20 – 25 minutes; when the brownies are done, a knife or skewer inserted in the centre should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Don’t be tempted to overcook them or they will be dry.
7) Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting in to squares.