To learn more about this recipe, read the related story, "Beets Me".
Chocolate, Orange and Beet Brownies
Recipe adapted from Ellie Grace and Rosie French, "Kitchen & Co." (Kyle Books)
Yield: 20 brownies
Cook Time: 50 minutes
3 small beets, green tops removed
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, plus 1 teaspoon at room temperature for the pan
9 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1¼ cups superfine sugar
3 large eggs
Zest of 1 orange plus 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1¼ cups self-rising flour
Crème fraîche, for serving (optional)
1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the beets and boil until a pairing knife easily slips into the largest one, about 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beets to a paper towel to cool. Once cooled, peel the beets, discarding the skin (wear gloves to protect your hands from staining). To the bowl of a food processor, add the peeled beets and process until very finely chopped. Transfer the puréed beets to a small bowl.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with the 1 teaspoon room-temperature butter.
3. In a large heat-safe bowl, add the chopped chocolate and the remaining 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons of butter. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and place the bowl on top of the saucepan (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water). Stir the chocolate and butter occasionally until smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl with the chocolate from the saucepan.
4. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the sugar and eggs, and beat on medium speed to combine. Increase the speed to high and whip until the eggs are thick and pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the melted chocolate-butter mixture, the orange zest and juice, and the chopped beets. To a fine-mesh sieve, add the flour and sift it over the chocolate-egg mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold the flour into the batter until no dry streaks remain.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the center resists light pressure and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the brownies to a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, cut into 2-inch squares and serve with crème fraîche, if using. Calories per Serving: 210; Total Carbohydrate: 23g; Sodium: 120mg; Fiber: 3g; Fat: 14g