Thursday, 13 December 2012

Beetroot & Chilli Brownies - Gourmet Garden's Blog Off Cook Off

Gourmet Garden are the the producer of fresh herbs and spices easy for weekday cooking.  Their passion is organically-grown herbs and spices packaged in a convenient squeezable tube that lasts for up to 3 months in your fridge.  They are currently running a Blog Off Cook Off competition where one lucky blogger can win a trip to Australia and a whopping £3000!
Using some of their great range of fresh herbs and spices, I have to develop and make a recipe to be judged by the great Rosemary Shrager.

So here we go - here's one of my entries to the fantastic Gourmet Garden's Blog Off Cook Off competition.

Beetroot & Chilli Chocolate Brownies

Makes 16 brownies, preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 30-40 minutes.

250g milk or dark chocolate - preferably dark 70% cocoa solids
100g butter
250g cooked beetroot, drained and cooled
3 eggs
250g light brown soft sugar
150g flaked almonds
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp Gourmet Garden fresh chilli
Icing sugar to dust, optional
Freshly whipped cream, to serve, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.  Prepare a 23cm square baking tin by greasing with butter and lining with a wide strip of baking paper - leave two "tails" at each side to help you to lift the brownie out of the tin.
  2. Break the chocolate into squares and put into a heatproof bowl along with the butter.  Place over a pan of simmering water and allow to gently melt, stirring to mix.
  3. Tip the beetroot into a food processor and blend to a coarse puree.  Add the melted chocolate and butter and eggs and mix again to incorporate the ingredients together.  Add the sugar, almonds, cocoa, baking powder and chilli and process until you have a smooth(ish) batter.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking tin and bake for about 40 mintues, checking after 30 minutes, until the top is set and the edge is starting to pull away from the tin slightly.  A skewer inserted into the centre will come out fairly clean but still a bit sticky.
  5. Remove from the oven, leave in the tin, place on a cooling rack and cool completely in the tin.
  6. When cold, remove from the tin using the "tails" and cut into 16 squares.  Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.

This brownie has a definite warm kick and so the cream serves as a coolant if required!  You can adjust the amount of chilli to taste - 2 tsp was just right for my tastebuds, I wouldn't go much higher though, unless you want a large kick of heat!

I also used home grown beetroot... one of the few sucesses that I had this year with my "home grown trials"!  So, if I can manage to grow a good crop of beetroot from scratch, I'm sure you can give it a go too!