Red Velvet Brownies

I mentioned these over in January’s Garden Blog. They are perfect to bake as a treat for your Mum on Mothering Sunday. Completely irresistible, they 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 . . . .

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.

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 sugar into processor bowl; add beetroot, whiz until smooth.

Add butter to beetroot mix, whiz to combine (don’t worry if it looks a little strange at this stage).

Add raising agents to flour and cocoa.

Sieve half flour/cocoa over the mixture. Add eggs and vanilla.

Sieve in 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 chopped chocolate: give a single quick whiz to combine.

Pour mixture into 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 sugar 40g salted butter 40ml semi-skimmed milk 90g 70% dark chocolate, chopped

Combine sugar, butter, and milk in a small heavy bottomed saucepan.

Bring to boil stirring constantly. Boil for 30 seconds, still stirring.

Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until melted.

The moment the chocolate has melted, pour frosting over cooled brownies and, working as quickly as possible, smooth in place and into corners with a flexible spatula.

Do not disturb further at all until the frosting has set. Then, mark carefully into squares.

Doubling up on frosting

Incidentally, if you ever need to double frosting quantities for a double batch of brownies or to frost a large cake, boil for 1 minute.