Thursday, June 14, 2012

Keep-Beet-A-Secret Chocolate Brownies

Wait...before we go any further, let me tell you what you're thinking;  Why? Why would you ever try to completely ruin something as decadently delicious as a chocolate brownie by putting something healthy like beets in it?  Are you mad?  If you're going to have a brownie, have a brownie.  Save the beets for your salad, you crazy, crazy woman.

I know, and I hear you.  Believe me, I had very similar thoughts when I came upon a recipe like this as to why someone would introduce something like beets to a brownie mix.  What's the point?  But then, I started thinking...

These beets are added into the brownie mix after you grate them raw.  And if you think about it, that's exactly what we do when we make, say, a carrot cake or zucchini bread.  You take a healthy vegetable, grate it up, and add it to a cake/muffin/quick bread batter to add moisture, sweetness, and texture.  So, if that's the case for carrots and zucchini (and even fruits like apple and pineapple), why can't we do the same for beets?

Determined to find out, I went to my kitchen to test it myself.  This specific recipe I tried was unique in particular because it has no refined sugar, and with two heaping cups of grated raw beets, I honestly had no idea what kind of monster was going to come out of my oven.  But, lo and behold, I tasted the first bite and it was....delicious...?

Yes!  Yes it was!  I kept chewing and tasting and confirmed that what I was eating was in fact enjoyable, flavorful, and with a tender crumb to boot!  "There are beets in my brownie," I said kept saying out loud, to remind myself of the level of discovery I had stumbled upon.

With a true - not muted - chocolate flavor coming from both the melted chocolate and cocoa powder, it paired beautifully with the earthiness and natural sweetness of the beets.  It was moist but not dense, and did not feel weighed down by either too much sugar or oil.  It was practically begging to be paired with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to be enjoyed outside on a summer evening.

It is indeed a dessert you should at least try out during these summer months - particularly because it brings the added X-factor of a secret ingredient that you can quiz your friends about when they taste it for the first time.  You can ultimately decide if you want to tell them or not, though, since they may be too busy enjoying their decadent brownies to care anyway.

To keep-beet-a-secret or to not keep-beet-a-secret, that decision is up to you.

Keep-Beet-A-Secret Chocolate Brownies
This recipe was inspired by the Decadent Beet & Chocolate Cake recipe found on the fantastic blog Green Kitchen Stories.  Although the original recipe is for a cake, and these brownies are very cake-like, you can make these more dense by using less egg if that's your desired style of brownie.  


2/3 cup (100 g) sunflower oil (coconut oil or olive oil)
1/2 cup (125 ml) either maple syrup or honey or a combination
50 g dark chocolate (70%), broken into pieces
2 full cups (250g) raw beetroots, grated
3 eggs
1 ½ cup (375 ml) spelt flour, (I used a combo of rye and whole wheat pastry flour since that was in my cupboard)
2 teaspoons baking powder
5 tablespoons cacao powder
Big pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 350F. Warm the oil in a medium size sauce pan on very low heat. Add maple syrup and/or honey and chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Pour into a mixing bowl and add the grated beets.

Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and then add them to the mixing bowl. Sift flour, baking powder, cacao powder and salt together and stir into the beet mixture. 

Grease a 9"x13" cake pan, bundt pan,  or12" circular casserole dish with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the brownies are slightly dark and are slightly pulling away from the side of the pan.  An inserted toothpick should come out with some crumbs to ensure the brownies will be moist. 

Rock the beet!

No comments:

Post a Comment