Here is a warning though - use ready peeled and cooked beetroot if you can! I don't know what possesses me to buy fresh beetroot, but I do. And it is so so messy! My arms and still slightly stained with flecks of beetroot juice and it got all over our white tiles.
These brownies are delicious. When I pureed the beetroot though, there were still some chunks of beetroot left in, but I think this makes it seem more authentic no? I mean, I could say they were beetroot but people might not believe me because they had no chunks in them and were so tasty! The chocolate and beetroot goes so well together; I have heard of it before but was always sceptical. Then again, I was also sceptical of carrot cake (just like Hugh!) when I was younger.
You can either grate or purée the cooked beetroot before adding to the mix - the latter gives a slightly more velvety texture. They work just as well with or without walnuts. Some people think that a brownie isn't a brownie without walnuts, while others can't stand them; it really depends on your personal preference. Makes 15 squares.
250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus a little more for greasing
250g plain chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), broken into squares
250g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour (we use wholemeal self-raising)
100g broken walnuts (optional)
250g cooked and peeled beetroot, grated or puréed
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/ gas mark 3. Lightly grease a baking tin that's roughly 20cm x 30cm in size and at least 2cm deep. Line the bottom with greaseproof paper and butter the paper, too.
Put the cubed butter and chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Place this on an oven tray lined with a baking sheet, and put in oven to warm up. After a few minutes, remove, stir, then return to the oven to melt completely. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter in the conventional manner, in a bowl held over a pan of barely simmering water.)
In another bowl, whisk the sugar with the eggs until smooth and creamy. Stir in the chocolate mixture until well combined. Sift in the flour, stir, fold in the walnuts (if using) and beetroot. Pour into the prepared tin.