Blender Beet Brownie
By Alice Zaslavsky
This oozy, gluten-free skillet sweetie takes inspiration from Claudia Roden’s world-famous orange-almond cake, where oranges are boiled until completely soft, then used to give both flavor and moisture to an almond meal base. Except I’ve brownie-fied this with the addition of dark chocolate and whizzed it into a wintry wonderland with beets. I’m especially enamored with the color – a kind of deep burgundy that could almost be red-velvet – and the flavor of chocolate cakes. I like to keep this brownie quite gooey in the middle (like a lava cake), but if you’d prefer to slice and be more sensible, bake it for a little longer.
Serves 6 -8
- 1 orange (preferably organic)
- 1 beet of a similar size to the orange, plus 1 small finely sliced beet
- 200 g (7 oz) butter, melted
- 200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate, melted,
- plus 50 g (13/4 oz) extra, chopped for the top
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup (220 g) granulated sugar
Tip: use a mandoline to thinly slice the beets for garnishing,but you can also peel it into strips using a vegetable peeler.
Boil the whole orange and beet together in a saucepan, topping up with boiling water regularly to keep them covered. Cook for about 1 hour, until both
are soft, and you can put a skewer through them.
Line a 20 cm x 30 cm (8 inch x 12 inch) brownie pan or skillet with parchment paper. (I line all the way up the sides if I’m using a brownie pan and plan to turn the whole thing out, but for the skillet version, simply lining the base of the pan will do.)
When the beet is cool enough to handle (but still warm), use some paper towel or a teaspoon to create some friction and help slip the skin off.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Pop the warm beet in a blender or food processor, along with the orange, butter and the 200 g (7 oz) chocolate. Blitz to combine, keeping the machine whirring until a smooth purée forms. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and blitz until incorporated.
In a bowl, mix together the almond meal, flour, cocoa, walnuts and baking powder, then add these to your blitz-machine and give it a few pulses, until the lumps of flour have mostly incorporated – but not too much, lest you bake a brick!
Pour the batter into the brownie pan or skillet, then dot with the extra chocolate and beet slices and sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Bake for 40–45 minutes, until the brownie is fudgey and still moist. Don’t bother doing the skewer test … it’ll lead you astray.
Allow to cool slightly before digging in. Serve warm with yogurt as a decadent pudding, or cut into small slices for lunchboxes and mid-afternoon snacking. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, where it’ll happily keep for at least 1 week (but who are we kidding here?).
About Alice Zaslavsky:
A former high school teacher and MasterChef Australia crowd favourite, now food judge, television and radio broadcaster, writer and food literacy advocate, Alice Zaslavsky is the freshest—and friendliest—voice in food. Vegetables are at the heart of everything she preaches. She is the creator of innovative digital toolkit Phenomenom for teachers and schools plus an accompanying podcast for families, Nomcast, which is helping change the way food is taught in schools and homes around the world.
Photo credit: Ben Dearnley
Excerpted from In Praise of Veg: The Ultimate Cookbook for Vegetable Lovers by Alice Zaslavsky. Text Copyright © 2022 Alice Zaslavsky. Design and Illustrations Copyright © 2022 by Murdoch Books. Photography Copyright © 2022 by Ben Dearnley. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.