Monthly Archives: August 2013

22. Chocolate Beetroot Brownies

This week I was with my family for the bank holiday weekend and before I headed home we popped into my parent’s friends’ house who kindly bestowed me with some beetroot. I’ve seen several of these chocolate cake with beetroot recipes knocking around the Internet and on TV (the first time I think on ‘Cook Yourself Thin’ a few years ago when I thought it was rather strange) and then Delia jumped on the bandwagon and it was en vouge all of a sudden. Never got around to trying it myself, beetroot not being something I often have lying around, but this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I started by preparing the beetroot which according to the recipe need to be cooked, peeled and grated. I’ve never actually coked beetroot myself, as far as I was concerned it’s something that comes in little cubes in a jar floating in some sort of liquid. I therefore took cooking tips from my parents and it seemed to work rather well.

Cooked and drained beetroot

Cooked and drained beetroot

Cooked and peeled beetroot

Cooked and peeled beetroot

Grated beetroot

Grated beetroot

I then started on the brownie mix. I was thinking that these may be healthier brownies what with containing a root vegetable. Alas, I was sadly mistaken. The first step was to melt A LOT of butter with A LOT of 70% cocoa chocolate.

Healthy... or maybe not.

Healthy… or maybe not.

Melty chocolate mix

Melty chocolate mix

I then whisked together the eggs and caster sugar and added in the chocolate mix.

Adding the chclate mix to the eggs and sugar

Adding the chocolate mix to the eggs and sugar

I then folded in the flour and a pinch of salt and finally folded in the grated beetroot. That purple juice gets everywhere – I don’t think that chopping board will ever recover.

Folding in the flour

Folding in the flour

Adding the beetroot

Adding the beetroot

I then poured into a prepared tin and popped in the oven.

Before the oven

Before the oven

The recipe said to cook for 20-25 minutes and warned of the perils of overcooking but the middle of mine was just not setting. In the end it was in for more like 40 minutes, but that may have had something to do with a big beef stew cooking at the same time!

After the oven

After the oven

The beetroot definitely added to the rich colour and it smelt amazing!

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As always, lovely with a cuppa! I blasted one in the microwave for 15 seconds and served with chocolate frozen yoghurt as my bank holiday Monday treat. Yum! Went down very well at work today as well.

Brownies!

Brownies!

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21. White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

This week my colleague bought me in some fresh raspberries from her garden so I obviously had to make something with them. I decided on a white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake and realised a bit late that it was actually a no bake cheesecake so doesn’t actually class as ‘baking’ but oh well, it’s all good practice!

I started by greasing and lining a square tin and making a biscuit base. It contained mixed spice which I’d never come across before in a cheesecake base but went with it!

Biscuit base

Biscuit base

I then made the cheesecake mix with the usual ingredients and used a sachet of gelatine to set it. The first lot of gelatine I left for too long and it set solid in the bowl so I had to try again! It also had melted white chocolate in.

White chocolate gelatine and cheesecake mix

White chocolate gelatine and cheesecake mix

I then poured this on to the refrigerated base, dropped in a load of the raspberries and left to set, simples!

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I generally prefer a baked cheesecake but this was lovely, even the spice in the base. And I think the expertly grown raspberries helped too! Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the sliced cake out the tin so you’ll have to use your imagination!

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20. Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake

This week I decided on lemon and poppy seed cake as it seemed like it would be summery and light.

The cake mix was unusual as it contained quite a lot of ground almonds (180g) and then of course there was lemon (zest and juice) and poppy seeds. Loved the look of this!

Cake mix

Cake mix

Once the mix was finished it went in the oven for 35 minutes (recipe said 40 but it was already well coloured).

Before the oven

Before the oven

After the oven

After the oven

Once baked I covered it in holes with a skewer (hence all the holes you can see in the pic!) and whilst it was cooling I made the lemon syrup from lemon juice and sugar, dissolved over a low heat.

Lemon syrup

Lemon syrup

When the cake had half cooled I poured over the syrup (whilst still in the tin), left to soak for a bit, then took it out the tin and put on the cooling rack to cool completely.

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Meanwhile I made the lemon icing (icing sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest) and I finished it off with icing and candied lemon peel. Sadly didn’t have time to candy (is that the right word?!) my own but I may do next time!

Finished cake

Finished cake

Went down really well at work and I really enjoyed it. More than I thought I would as I’m not a huge fan of poppy seeds. But their taste wasn’t overwhelming, just subtle and they added a nice crunch. As always, lovely with a cuppa!

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Think I’ll go for something more technical next time, been a while since I had a good challenge!