Monday, July 24, 2017

Chocolate Hazelnut Beet Brownies

Chocolate Hazelnut Beet Brownies are rich and decadent with a delicate worthiness and a wallop of nutty flavour. Perfect with a scoop of frozen yoghurt or a sprinkle of berries!

Chocolate Hazelnut Beet Brownies

I was fortunate enough to grow up in Canada, which (along with many other pluses) sold Nutella in every grocery store. My sister, in particular, was (and is) a Nutella addict, and I definitely appreciate the allure of combining rich nuts with decadent chocolate (as the peanut butter cups I recently shared clearly exhibit). The women in my family also have a deep-rooted affinity for brownies - and while I've tried making the infamous Three (really Four)- Ingredient Brownies I have to admit I found them rather lacking in hazelnut flavour, being more sweet and almost verging on hard rather than chewy and nutty.

Coincidentally, when I was cleaning out our deep freezer during the Green Two-Protein Curry purge, I came across a plastic bag with two very large, roasted and peeled, beets. Since I knew one of them was a Zentaur beet (originally intended for cattle feed, but ridiculously sweet and delicious) and I was almost positive the other one was one of my favourite Lutzes, I immediately started thinking of what I could bake up to capitalize on their sweet, earthy flavours. Anything chocolate is an absolute given win with beets (especially when they have been super slow-roasted like these), and flipping through my bookmarked recipes-to-make I came across one from Early Morning Farm for chocolate beet brownies.

Now, I've done beet brownies before. I actually made both this recipe and a batch of my Squidgy Superfood Brownies at the same time, just to use up all the beets. This recipe needed something to make it stand out, earn it a page in my brownie recipe file. Realizing I hadn't made a really good hazelnut brownie, and not a hazelnut brownie at all without Nutella, my mind was made up. It didn't hurt that we had some hazelnutty chocolate stashed in the freezer from the holidays, which I knew would make a great topping. Everything came together swimmingly, and while the hardest part is always waiting for it to cool, I stand by my belief that putting the pan directly into the freezer from the oven equals the best fudgy texture. With no leavening agents, this is nowhere on the cakey spectrum, which is exactly how brownies should be (IMHO).

Chocolate Hazelnut Beet Brownies
Makes 1 (8") pan, 16 squares
1 cup (224g) pureed beets (from about 280g raw, roasted and pureed)
½ cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp hazelnut extract
2 large eggs
1 tbsp strong black coffee
½ cup flour
⅓ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (my favourite is Guittard’s Cocoa Rouge)
⅓ cup pulverized chocolate covered hazelnuts (I used about half of a Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts bar, frozen then pulverized in the food processor)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F Grease an 8″ pan. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together beets, oil, sugar, extracts, eggs and coffee, and beets.
  3. Add the flour and cocoa, stirring just until combined.
  4. Spread in the pan and sprinkle with the chocolate covered hazelnuts.
  5. Bake 35-45 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 159.4
Total Fat: 9.1 g
Cholesterol: 23.3 mg
Sodium: 21.1 mg
Total Carbs: 18.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 2.0 g

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