Beetroot Espresso Brownie
Such is the brownie’s reputation that it can cope seamlessly with an unorthodox intruder. Both the beetroot and the coffee make this particular version sing; it is bitter, but not too much, rich, but not to its detriment, and even gluten free to satisfy the demands of gluten-free guests.
Makes 16 brownies
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
200g raw beetroot (around 2), peeled
250g 70% dark chocolate
200g unsalted butter
2 heaped teaspoons instant coffee granules
400g caster sugar
4 medium eggs, beaten
50g cocoa powder
50g plain flour
pinch of salt
20 x 20 x 4cm square tin
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Line the shallow tin with parchment paper.
2. Now prepare the beetroot – this is a messy job so you can use rubber gloves to prevent any hand staining. Peel and grate the beetroot on the fine side of a box grater.
3. Melt the chocolate, butter and coffee granules very gently in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the beetroot, caster sugar and beaten eggs. Combine thoroughly before adding the cocoa powder, plain flour and a pinch of salt. Stir well.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until just cooked – remember that brownies are easy to overbake. The top should be dried to a paler brown and the middle should still be dark, dense and gooey and only just firm. Allow to cool completely in the tin before slicing, as it will continue to cook until cooled. Serve with strong coffee.