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A few days ago I was given a bag of freshly dug beetroot. I love beetroot and I wasn't stuck for ideas of what to do with it, especially after reading the gorgeous recipe for Beetroot Brownies that Jules posted. I had a real craving for these after seeing the scrumptious photos on her blog.

Jules was experimenting with a recipe shown on River Cottage Autumn, a tv cookery show hosted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Hugh is not a chef I normally follow because his recipes are usually more suited to carnivores, but this recipe made me sit up and notice him for the first time. I think I am going to have to make a trip to the library now.

Roast Beetroot

  1. Wash your beetroot (I used about 8 beetroot for this recipe), to remove any of the garden that is still clinging to it. 
  2. Trim down the beetroot, so that there is a little stalk and root left on before wrapping each beetroot in tinfoil. 
  3. Place on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven (180c/350f/gas 4) for 1 hour. 
  4. Allow the beetroot to cool in it's foil for 10 minutes or so before peeling the beetroot. Watch out for stained hands, worktops or clothes. (I peeled my beetroot over tinfoil on the baking tray and that seemed to work well. The beetroot juice washed off my hands ok, but you would be better to wear gloves)

Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie Cake with Chocolate Frosting


250g dark chocolate
250g unsalted butter -cubed
250g caster sugar
3 large eggs
150g self-raising flour -sieved
250g fresh beetroot - grated (weight after peeling)


50g butter (softened)
100g cream cheese
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups icing sugar
1 cup cocoa
½ cup cadbury's drinking chocolate
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4.

Line an 8 inch/20cm cake tin.

Simmer a couple of inches of water in a pan and place a bowl over the top. Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Now break the chocolate into the bowl and add the butter. Stir until the mixture is melted and glossy, then set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until combined and then beat in the chocolate mixture, before folding in the flour and then the beetroot. Do not over mix as this will make the brownies tough.

Pour into the lined tin and bake for 30 - 40 minutes. Insert a skewer after 30 minutes and check. It will be ready once the skewer comes out with a few crumbs still attached to it. It the skewer comes out covered in wet mixture it is not ready and if it comes out clean then it has moved on from being a brownie into a cake and won't be as moist.

Leave to cool in the tin.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Whisk together the butter, cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add the salt and vanilla essence and mix in well. Keep whisking and gradually begin to add the icing sugar, cocoa and drinking chocolate until the frosting begins to thicken. You may add more icing sugar until you reach a consistency you are happy with.

Remove the cake from the tin and finish cooling on a rack before spreading on the frosting.

Slice and devour, ah, I meant to say share!

I cooked beetroot from fresh for my brownie cake, but alternatively, you may like to buy the vacuum sealed fresh beetroot sold in supermarkets.

Graham and I both took a brownie cake into work and they were very, very popular! Graham wouldn't tell his friends what the secret ingredient was until they had tasted a slice and guessed, he is mean! The cake was pronounced "the best brownie I have every tasted!" by quite a few of those indulging in a slice.

update: Ricki from Diet Dessert and Dogs has quite rightly pointed out that I never said what I actually thought of the brownie cake. Well, I thought it was divine, a slice of chocolate heaven and I want to eat slice right now as I type this!
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