For a while I’ve been hearing whispers through the grapevine of using vegetables in baked goods to make them lower in fat and more nutritious. I have to keep telling myself that using beetroot in brownies is no more peculiar than a carrot cake, or the sweet courgette bread I made last time.
Beetroot in brownies is not weird. Beetroot in brownies is not weird. Beetroot in brownies is not weird.
If I repeat it to myself enough times, I’ll start to believe it. If anyone is going to love a brownie with vegetables in it, to be perfectly honest, it will be me. I’m quite open minded about food and I’m happy to try most things once. (As my friend Holly knows all too well, as she was horrified the other day at me suggesting that if it was offered to me, I would try headcheese.) I’m also more than happy to find new ways to eat vegetables.
Funnily enough, the idea to make beetroot brownies did not come from a desire to ‘healthify’ chocolate brownies. I’m such a baking novice that I’m still mastering the old-fashioned full-fat recipes, let alone trying to experiment with different ingredients and so on. Today’s beetroot brownies were borne from the same concept as most of the food I make: to use something up. The beetroots that have been lingering in the fridge for more time than I care to admit* were starting to irritate me. Measures had to be taken.
Would anyone be surprised if I said I used the recipe from BBC Good Food? Probably not. I used pre-packed cooked beetroot, which is fine, but I had to carefully check there was no vinegar. I don’t think the world is ready for that flavour combination just yet. Also bear in mind, if you use beetroot that’s already cooked, that the butter and chocolate will not melt like they are supposed to, and you may have to microwave it for 30 seconds or so to save your food processor from taking off into outer space. (I learnt this the hard way.) Another thing I learnt is that as you mix the sugar and egg mixture into the warm beetroot chocolate and butter mixture, you will ponder how utterly disgusting it looks and if the recipe itself was all a cruel joke.
It will all come good in the end. Trust me. Mine came out a little bit more cake-like than your average brownie but I still think they’re pretty delicious. There’s a subtle earthy beetroot flavour in there, but it’s not overpowering.
* Don’t worry, they weren’t rotten. I’m not that disgusting, or that determined not to waste food.
Have you ever baked with vegetables?
Would you be intrigued or terrified if someone offered you a beetroot brownie?