Brownies To Beet The Band

There's nothing quite like coming home to a house full of good baking smells--especially after a day as dreary and raw as the ones we've been having this week. While lately I've come to expect the warm deliciousness of homemade bread, today I walked into something different.

Really different.


Yes, it's a brownie. But not just any old brownie.

That there is a beet brownie.

We're no strangers to the mingling of chocolate and beets. It's a surprisingly good favor combination, as the beets add a complexity and texture to the chocolate that is really interesting.

Kirk got this idea from his favorite gardening cook, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The original Chocolate and Beetroot Brownie recipe is from River Cottage, but Kirk ended up modifying it to make the beet more prominent.

Because Kirk loves beets, and we've got about a zillion giant ones to use up.

Here's Kirk's version of beet brownies. You should make some, because we won't have any left to share.

Beet Brownies

2 sticks of butter, cut into pieces
4 oz. dark chocolate, also cut into pieces (Kirk used Ghirardelli, and it was awesome)
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt
8 ounces of prepped beets: roasted, peeled, cooled, and grated (this was about 1 1/2 big beets)

1. Get ready: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put butter and chocolate in an ovenproof bowl and place in oven to melt while oven heats up. Stir together once when half melted and again when completely melted. While keeping an eye on all the melting, grease and flour a 9x9 brownie pan.

2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar together, then add the melted chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold dry ingredients into chocolate, then fold in the grated beets.

4. Pour batter into the pan and bake 20-25 minutes, until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack before attempting to cut it, or you will have a mess.

These brownies are fluffy and tender, and the flavor is excellent. If you didn't know the secret ingredient was beets, you might have a hard time guessing what the extra flavor dimension was. Our kids really like them, so you can believe that it's not an overtly vegetal taste. The grated beet doesn't quite break down all the way, so the texture is also a bit like carrot cake. But you know, with beets.

And chocolate.

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