I brought these beetroot brownies in to work to test them out on my colleagues. I'm experimenting with beetroot as an ingredient in baked goods. (It's analagous to carrot in cake. Or parsnip in cookies.) I asked the other maths teachers for constructive feedback on my new recipe idea. What did they say?
"Considering I don't like beetroot, it's surprisingly nice."
"The texture is nice, but I don't like the taste of beetroot."
"It tastes like chocolate AND beetroot [equally], and I wish it was more chocolaty--or less beetrooty."
"Hmm. It's delicious!" (He says this with an astonished look on his face.)
"Ah, I don't like beetroot. No, I can't eat this." (He spits it out.)
"Can I contribute to the cost of the ingredients? Then would you keep baking for us?" (No, that's ok! It's a labour of love!)
"The first bite is a little odd, with a distinctive beetroot taste. But then it all starts to come together. It has a delicious aftertaste."
"At first it was strange, but I really like it." (She had a second one.)
"The beetroot seems a bit grainy inside."
Well, there were mixed reviews, I guess. This foray into beetroot baking was adapted from several other recipes--and I added a few touches of my own. For example, I used whole wheat flour, to no detrimental effect. The beetroot and orange juice keep these squares sticky and moist. Secondly, the comment about a grainy mouthfeel was accurate--for these brownies I grated the beetroot but next time I am going to puree it to make it more smooth. Finally, there is plenty of melted chocolate used, so I included less sugar than other recipes I saw around the web.
All in all, I am considering this experiment a success and the recipe deserves further testing. I think you should try these brownies, too. And then share the constructive comments that you receive from your friends and family!
makes 16 brownies (or 32 small tastes)
300 g roasted beetroot, cooled (about 3 medium beetroots)
1/2 c (100 g) unsalted butter
200 g dark chocolate (or 1 c chocolate chips)
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 c (75 ml) orange juice
1 c (120 g) whole wheat flour
3 T (25 g) cocoa
2/3 c (130 g) sugar
Grate or puree the roasted beetroot.
In a large bowl, melt together the butter and chocolate by microwaving for 1 minute at a time and stirring in between. The chocolate only needs to be about two thirds melted--just keep stirring and the rest will melt. Add the vanilla extract and orange juice.
In another bowl, mix together the flour and cocoa.
In a medium bowl, cream the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer or a whisk until airy.
Add the flour and the beetroot to the chocolate and stir to combine. Add the eggs to the chocolate and fold in gently.
Pour into a 9"x9" (23x23 cm) pan. Bake at 355 F (180 C) for 25 minutes. The centre should still be glossy and damp, while the edges are dry and have pulled away from the pan.
Let cool in the pan before cutting into 16 squares (or 32 rectangles).