For as much as I love cake, and I do love cake in all their disguises, I can’t really eat a lot of it in one sitting. In that case my stomach is quite sensitive and I can’t have too much of a good thing (it’s smarter than my brain).
But if anything has to come close to me polishing off a tray, it has been the River Cottages Beetroot Brownies. I make a whole tray which I could easily demolish in a day. My other weakness is Jack Munroe’s Vegan banana bread from her book a girl called jack, that never stands a chance.
But back to Brownies…
Mr CM has claimed that this is more cake than brownie and he would like to think he knows as he is a self-appointed brownie expert (or so he thinks.) Actually off subject again. Last year I was requested for his birthday to make him a cake of such monstrosity that I’m certain it would be something you would only see on an extreme baking. Instruction were as follows.
A layer of Nigella’s devil’s food cake, a layer of fluff, then a layer of Hummingbird’s American style Brownie, followed by another layer of fluff and then topped with Nigella’s Christmas Rocky Road.
No one has even seen anything so decadent (probably). The sugar content alone should have given it a health warning label. It struggled to stay up. But after a few days of the layers melting into each other he made the bold statement every baker wants to hear, “That Brownie was the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten”. ( I wish I had taken a photo of this)
So Back to this cake style brownie. My ,my, my it’s the bomb! The beetroot gives the cake a moisture you really wouldn’t expect (even after being left in the fridge) and it goes on for days and days and is still perfect…if not a bit better!
I I reduced the eggs to two because of Mr CM’s allergies (he claims it still affected him anyway) and I didn’t notice a difference in the quality. I also did not add any substitutes to it. I did have to leave it a bit longer in the oven (30 mins, but that could just me my crap oven)
It’s no angel, it has lots of sugar in it,,,,but it also has beetroot so that’s good! I wonder if you could make a sugar free version of this?
I’ve lifted the recipe straight from River Cottage, I’m sure Hugh wont mind.
- 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
Grease a shallow baking tin, approximately 20 x 25cm, and line the base with baking parchment.
Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set the oven at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and put the bowl in it for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter start to melt.
Stir, then put back in to 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 is 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 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.
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 center 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 in to squares.
I’m already missing the Great British Bake Off now It’s finished. I’m trying to fill the gap with Australian Masterchef, but it’s just not the same. Its a bit like comparing a Great Dane to a Chihuahua.