This weekend I took over the kitchen, much to my Mum’s annoyance, cooking, tasting, taking photos and making a big old mess. I had decided to enter a competition held by a health bloggers community that I follow who were looking for recipes for their first ebook, with the theme ‘Dessert for Breakfast’, a great theme if you ask me.
I always seem to opt for a sweet breakfast and have never been able to get my head around the continental thing of eating ham and cheese at 9am. I wanted to try and be a bit creative with the theme and once I’d got thinking I found that I couldn’t decide on one dish and that I had a long list of things I was adamant to try. So, I set aside Friday evening to put my plans into action but unfortunately, I may have been a bit too ambitious as two out of four things went horribly wrong and I had to do it all again on Saturday. Nonetheless, sometimes it can be much more satisfying when something finally works out after it has failed once or twice before hand.This recipe is one of those times.
I have been meaning to try putting beetroot in cake for ages. I am not a fan of beetroot really, but I’ve heard that it can add an amazing moisture to cake and that the veggie taste can be masked well with a good dose of chocolate. I thought this was the perfect opportunity for a veggie infused cake. Brownies are one of those things that everyone loves and in my eyes a winning brownie is pretty much a square of uncooked batter… the gooeyer the better.The beetroot in this recipe gives this effect (hopefully you can sense this from my photos) but without the risks that come with eating a load of raw egg. The beans may sound daunting but, as with the beetroot, you would never guess they’re in there, they just give it its substance (just make sure you blend your mixture properly so no one thinks you’ve got your brownies and your chilli con carne mixed up.)
The coconut cream frosting can be left out if you wish but I wouldn’t as it adds an nice creaminess.
Beetroot and bean chocolate brownies with sweet whipped coconut frosting
For the brownies
230g red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
110g cooked beetroot (about 1 ½ beets) + the juice from the packet (tinned prunes in juice also work well here)
130g soya yoghurt or natural yoghurt
40g raw cacao powder
50g ground flaxseeds
100g coconut sugar or raw cane sugar
2 tsp. vanilla essence
1 tsp. maple essence (optional)
A bar of your favourite chocolate (about 80g-90g), chopped roughly into chunks
For the frosting
Note: you must use full-fat coconut milk, any light varieties will not work and you will be left with a watery mess.
1 can of full-fat coconut milk (left in the fridge overnight)
1 tsp. vanilla essence
3 heaped tbsp. coconut sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC (gas oven).
Blend the kidney beans, beetroot and yoghurt in a blender until completely smooth.
Add the cacao powder and blend again until combined.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the flaxseeds, coconut sugar and vanilla and chocolate and stir until combined.
Grease a baking tray (about 9×9 inches) with coconut oil. Pour the mixture in. You want the brownies to be about 1 inch deep so if using a larger baking tray, make sure you don’t spread the mixture too thin.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Check them at 30 minutes, the top should be slightly crisp but you want the middle to be gooey still. Leave to cool while you make the frosting.
Take the can of coconut milk out of the fridge (it should have been left overnight). Spoon the solid part at the top of the can into a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk.
Add the vanilla and coconut sugar and whisk to combine.
Store in the fridge if not using right away. Otherwise, spoon it on to the brownie (make sure the brownie is completely cool before doing this) and spread it to cover the whole brownie.
Store these in the fridge and eat within about 3 days.