The international success of the carrot cake has surely paved the way for experimenting with root vegetables in other cake recipes. Well, this is my contribution to the genre. It’s a corker – rich and velvety, and a tad lighter than a traditional, fudgy brownie. Warm from the oven, it makes a good pudding brownie to serve with vanilla ice cream.
- 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 250g dark chocolate (about 70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
- 3 medium eggs
- 250g caster sugar
- 150g self-raising flour (I use wholemeal, but white works well, too)
- 250g beetroot, boiled until tender, cooled, peeled and grated
- Grease a shallow baking tin, approximately 20cm x 25cm, and line the base with baking parchment.
- Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- Set the oven at 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 and put the bowl in it for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter start to melt. Stir, then put back into the oven for a few more minutes to melt completely. Of course, you could melt them together in the traditional way, over a pan of hot water, but it seems a shame not to exploit the warming oven.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined, then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Combine a pinch of sea 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. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula.
- 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. Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.
Recipe from River Cottage Every Day! by Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall (Bloomsbury, £26)