The weekend's a time when I sometimes get the opportunity to cook something different or fun, a change from the quick and easy routine of weeknights. Come and see what I've been up to this weekend..
We were invited to a party this weekend (grown-ups and kids) and a friend and I took along dessert for the kids. Before the party we had fun thinking of all the different things we could make. Meringues had been on the top of my list (my big girl was away so no allergies to cater for) when suddenly as I was flicking through a cooking magazine I saw a picture of brownies containing beetroot and I was sold - and found a little amusement in the fact that I would be serving up a hidden vegetable, hee hee ;-)
I've been wanting to try a choc/beetroot recipe for a while and am so glad I did. I'm not sure if the kids were that over the moon about them but I thought they were delicious - moist and chocolatey but with that beautiful earthy flavour that comes with beetroot, and a lovely deep pinky/red colour instead of the usual straight brown.
And of course I had to do a little decorating... for the stars I put some icing (powdered) sugar into a tea strainer and shook it over a coffee decorator stencil thing. Which was the most fun of the whole thing really - apart from eating the few that didn't fit on the plate and stayed at home ;-)
*And by the way, happy Fathers Day today to all the fantastic dads!
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500g whole raw beetroot
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 tsp vanilla essence
250g caster sugar
100g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
Wear a pair of rubber gloves to stop your hands from staining, then top, tail and peel the beetroot. Roughly chop and put into a large bowl. Add about 1/4 cup of water, cover with cling film, then microwave on High for 12 mins or until tender (you could also bake the whole unpeeled beetroot until tender then, when cool, rub the skins off).
Heat oven to 180c and line a 20 x 30cm baking tin with non-stick baking paper. Roughly chop the chocolate and cut the butter into cubes then put them into a food processor along with the vanilla essence. Drain the cooked beetroot then add it to the food processor and blend until the mix is smooth. The chocolate and butter will melt as you do this.
Put the sugar and eggs into a large bowl, then beat using an electric hand whisk until thick, pale and foamy, about 2 mins. Spoon the beetroot mix into the bowl, then use a large metal spoon or a spatula to fold it into the whisked eggs. Try to conserve as much air in the mixture as you can. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, then gently fold these in to make a smooth batter.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 25 mins or until just risen all over. Cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.