Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dark Chocolate Beet Brownies

These brownies were never really meant to be part of a blog post.  The photos were an afterthought- taken in the last remaining minutes of afternoon light in between moments of stirring the risotto for dinner- more because I've gotten in the habit of photographing my food "just because" than with any real intent on sharing them.  It's funny how things happen, though, isn't it?  Because here they are in full view for the world to see....Despite the fact that I reassured my neighbor that the recipe wasn't going to show up in her inbox the day after I shared a brownie from my first batch with her. Sorry Jackie. I lied!

Okay, so it wasn't really a lie if I honestly had no intentions on writing out the recipe for all of you lovely friends to see, right? 

Thank you. 

I feel better.
I suppose my motivation for sharing comes from a compliment I got from the two sweet girls who run my CSA pickup.  One had seen my impromptu sharing of batch #1 of these brownies on Facebook and had asked about it at pickup a couple of days ago.  It turns out they wanted to share my blog address with the other folks who pick up their boxes here in town.  I am (and was, and will continue to be) flattered by the praise that Jennifer and Julianna gave me that morning and again in their email to the other CSA members. 

It really means a lot to me that my photos, food and stories are meaningful to anyone else besides my own little self.  And it was all because of a quick Instagram shot of these brownies.  You just never know, do you?  So thank you ladies for your kind words and for your smiles and warm greetings every Tuesday morning.  These brownies are for you.
Dark Chocolate Beet Brownies
Makes 16 brownies.  Adapted from this recipe in Sacramento Magazine by Adrienne Capps who writes the blog Vegetarianized.
For the printable recipe, click here.

Believe it or not, it's actually very difficult to find a good beet brownie recipe.  There are zillions of brownie recipes that use applesauce or even black beans as a substitute for all or part of the fat and just as many recipes for cakes that take advantage of the flavor and moisture that beets provide.  But brownies featuring beets are few and far between.  The recipe I found and ended up adapting was healthy but not so ridiculously healthy that I still felt in my comfort zone with it.  I did end up swapping out the butter for oil, making the cocoa darker and richer and losing and egg for a bit more fudginess.  In my second go-round with the brownies I tried using melted dark chocolate when I realized I didn't have enough cocoa, but the texture suffered for it.  So I'm sharing the recipe the way I originally fell in love with it.

2 large beets, peeled
3 large eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup cocoa powder (Hershey's makes a dark chocolate cocoa powder that I like to use in these brownies)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 cup chocolate chips, at least 60% cocao

In a medium saucepan, cover the beets with water by an inch.  Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the water to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the beets until they are soft enough to easily be pierced through the center with a knife, about 25 minutes.  Drain the beets and puree them.  You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to the beets to get them to puree smoothly, Add only what you need.  Set the beet puree aside to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, oil,  and sugars.  Add the vanilla extract and beet puree and whisk to fully combine.  Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the wet ingredients.  Stir in the chocolate chips. 

Pour the batter into a 9x13 inch baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lined with foil or parchment.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean but still moist.  Cool the brownies completely before cutting.  They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.


40 comments:

  1. So I just picked up beets from my CSA and we're totally trying this. Found you by googling "beet brownies." Thanks!!!

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  2. Was just out in the garden wondering what I was going to do with all those beets - can't wait to try this - sounds tasty!

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  3. Just made there. Really wonderful recipe. Had to slightly increase baking time. Texture is lovely. Flavour is decadent. I used chopped up pieces of 71% choc. They stayed somewhat intact in batter. Not hard so added great texture. Really paid off to research and read through recipes.
    Thank you

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  4. Hey there, I also found your blog through googling "beet brownies". I have been wanting to try a roasted beet chocolate cake for ages, but need something to take to a meeting and figured these would be easier to hand out. These look awesome...I'll check back after they're done to leave a more thorough review! :-)

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  5. Thank you for sharing this recipe! ^_^ Made a batch the other day and I'm definitely planning on baking another one soon.

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  6. Looks delicious. Hoping to make these! About how many cups is 2 pureed beets? I roasted and pureed about 10 beets today of various sizes. Thanks!

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    1. Liza, thanks for checking the recipe out! I have to be honest, it's been a long time since I've made these brownies so my memory may not be accurate. I would say that it would be safe to start with about 1 1/2 cups of puree. Since you have some extra to play with, if your batter seems too dry add more by the 1/4 cup. If you do decide to make the recipe, I love to know what measurement you come up with. I would try it myself, but I live in Germany at the moment and beets are not available here right now.

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    2. Thanks for the reply Renee! I actually looked around a bit and decided to go with 1 cup. I've made beet brownies before(http://dolcevitaverde.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/csa-eats-beet-brownies/) and had my eye on a beet muffin recipe as well. Both called for 2 beets or about 3/4 to 1 cup. So I went with it. Loved that your beet brownies included cocoa powder! Really made them great! I do think I could have put more beets. They were a little dry, I think either b/c I used coconut oil or needed more beets. Thanks so much!

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  7. These were delicious! They were devoured at a Superbowl party in spite of the dozens of blue and orange cupcakes on the dessert table!! I added a teaspoon of espresso powder to help develop the cocoa -- so good! Thanks for posting!

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  8. These were amazing. Just made my second batch. I also added espresso powder. Love these brownies.

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  9. Hello and thanks for the recipe. I was disappointed when I tasted them fresh out of the oven but for some reason they tasted much better once completely cooled. That's what I get for not following instructions! I was gonna take one to the gal at my CSA, but looks like there won't be any left for her, thanks to my husband's friends. So far, my favorite way to use beets :)

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  10. The best brownies I've ever made! Thank you. As for the beets: I had about a cup and a half. :)

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  11. My pureed beets totalled to about 1 1/4 cups which seemed okay. Most people in the comments said they had 1-1/2 cups. Honestly I feel like as a food blog it would have probably been smart to measure instead of a very general term of "2 large beets". It's very chocolatey which I liked but it honestly felt much more like a cake than a brownie which was a bit of a bummer but still really good.

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  12. Just tasted one from my batch that is *not quite* cooled completely, and all I can say is WOW! Such rich flavor! I used 3 medium beets, and I'd say I had between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of puréed beets.

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  13. I just made these tonight and they turned out superb! I used almost 2 cups of beets, took out one egg and reduced the sugars by half. However, they still turned out amazing. Very very moist and rich.

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  14. I've never been a fan of dark chocolates but you recipe is tempting me to make them. Your photographs are really good.

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  15. Hi Renee, thank you for posting this delicious recipe! My 5-year old daughter and I just made these last night. They were fantastic. Before we had kids, I would always make boxed brownies (go ahead and gasp). I loved the ooey, gooey, fudgy brownie that boxed brownies made. Then we had kids, no more boxes. In fact, with kids came something called "whole wheat flour" and "vegetables". I'm constantly searching for delicious and healthier recipes to make for/with my family. When we came across your recipe, I knew it wouldn't be long before we'd try it. I'm so glad we did, it's fantastic. It has it's own fudgy-ness (yes, I make up my own words), not as dense as boxed, but MAN it's tasty. We under baked ours (baked for 25 minutes) and let it set for about an hour. Mmmm. Thank you again for helping me to feed my family healthier and delicious food.

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  16. Have a ton of beets and tired of canning......this sounds great and will go over well. rm

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  17. Hello, I would love to try this recipe but I live in Scotland and the 'cup' measurements are throwing me a bit. Can anyone help with putting the measurements in grams or lbs? Thanks a million! Liz

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    1. Liz, I hope I can help you out with those measurements. I have lived in Germany fir the past 2 years and have recently been converted to the system of using weights instead of volume. So here's what you need:

      90 g brown sugar
      150 g granulated sugar (or caster sugar)
      125 ml neutral flavored oil
      100g cocoa powder
      75 g all purpose flour
      150 g dark chocolate chips

      All other measurements remain as listed in the recipe above. I hope you enjoy the brownies!

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    2. Oh, and the baking temp will be 180 C. Happy baking!

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    3. Renee, thank you so much, you are a star! Liz

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  18. I have to say, these did not turn out as well as I hoped they would. They also looked NOTHING like the pictures. The chocolate flavor was not very rich (perhaps because they use oil instead of butter?), and the texture was also not great. They looked quite cakey, but tasted moist in an unpleasant, gluey sort of way. What did I do wrong??

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    1. Caitlin I'm so sorry that you had poor results with the brownies! I'm not sure exactly how it might have gone wrong for you. I might have a couple of thoughts for you. flavor-wise did you use a good quality dark cocoa powder or Dutch processed cocoa? Those will result in a better, deeper flavor. As for the texture, that's a bit tougher. It's going to be slightly different just as a result of using the beets but perhaps you had just a bit too much beet purée? About 1 1/2 cups seems to be the right amount for the correct texture. I hope you give the brownies another shot!

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  19. I made these today and they turned out great! My beet hating family even pronounced them yummy!

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  20. Making my first batch now. Results stay tuned.

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  21. looks so good... going down to the garden for those beets now!

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  22. Never commented on a blog (though i read quite a few on a daily basis), but made your recipe tonight (used half regular half pure cocoa powder and add some some almonds as i like the crunch) and they turned out AMAZING! so so moist, not too sweet (i did reduced the amout of sugar) i chocolaty. so, thank you!

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  23. Absolutely delicious. Was craving for a midnight snack and what a great way to help with your chocolate cravings. Delicious chewy and chocolaty, will definitely be making this again. Thank you for the recipe Healthy Brownie Recipes | Keep Healthy Living :)

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  24. i was so smitten with this recipe i whipped it up as soon as i saw it- it is now in the freezer firming up :) the batter was soooo delicious!! can't wait to eat the brownies!

    Healthy Brownie Recipes | Keep Healthy Living

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  25. I am going to try this recipe and I will substitute for Gluten free flour and see how they turn out.

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  26. I think I will try this recipe and use a gluten free flour.

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  27. I've made these a few times and they're always fantastic. I like to add some cinnamon, but that's just a personal preference.
    Also, if you've got an immersion blender and a pot that isn't nonstick, you can make the batter entirely in the same pot you use to boil the beets. As a deeply lazy person, minimizing cleanup is always exciting for me.

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  28. Do canned beets work as well or does that alter the flavor? Also, how would you adjust the recipe using coconut oil? Thank you!

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    1. I am So not sure about canned beets- can you believe I've never eaten a canned beet. That may require some experimentation. As for the coconut oil, you can substitute it on a one for one basis with the vegetable oil. Just make sure to melt it after measuring and that your eggs are at room temperature or they will cause the coconut oel to clump up. Good luck!

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  29. Will using golden beets only affect color? has anyone tried this?

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  30. I just made these for the family thanksgiving and they are AWESOME!!! Thank you !!

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  31. Going to try them today on our organc farm in South Africa, many thanks!

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