One of my perennial heroes is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage. Admired for millions of gardening and cooking inspirations, but none more so than this little gem: Chocolate Beetroot Brownies.
Now, I made the mistake of baking a double batch of these little beauties for our regular market stall, just before the hot northerly hit Adelaide this weekend, and in that weather no-one was craving (or buying) sticky, fudgy, chocolatey mess. But now that the rain has arrived and we’re all holed up inside with lots of leftover brownies in the freezer, I’m starting to think it wasn’t such a mistake after all!
The beetroot I used was a mixture of ‘Chioggia’ and ‘Burpees Golden’, both grown from Greenpatch Organic Seeds. Chioggia is also called ‘Candystripe’ – when sliced horizontally it has brilliant pink and white rings – while Burpees Golden is a gorgeous orangey-gold sunset colour. Neither variety stains hands or benchtops the way dark purple beets do. They are very sweet, and the Golden is also great cooked and blended into hommus. They are so beautiful when young and raw that it’s almost a crime to cook them and disguise them with chocolate, but I think we can be forgiven for dishing out the brownie treatment when the beets have grown old and provided us with many luscious leaves for salads, curries (e.g. saag paneer) and eggs florentine. The beetroot adds luscious moisture to the brownies, not to mention plenty of fibre, so you can satisfy your inner angel and devil at the same time.