These Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting have to be one of the cleverest ways to get more vegetables into your diet in the nicest possible way!
I didn't quite know what to expect with these brownies because they have a "secret" ingredient in them that I wasn't too sure about however you can see from the picture above that these brownies have a beautiful, glossy, rich red velvet hue. Would you believe the color hasn't come from a bottle, but from the humble and healthy (wait for it...) beetroot, yes, you read right, beetroot!
While it is a stretch to call them a health food, there is a lot healthy ingredients in this recipe and that is always a win in my book! Beetroots are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fibre, essential minerals like potassium (for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beetroots also contain folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects in pregnant women.
Please do not use tinned beetroot in this recipe as the flavor is too sharp. Cooked beetroot which is usually vacuumed sealed in plastic bags is fine and it is very simple to cook your whole beetroots in a pressure cooker at home.
To boost the flavors of this brownie I threw in some of my Pumpkin Pie Spice and it really works to well in bringing all the flavors together. You can use mixed spice if you wish.
I highly recommend you make these brownies a day in advance and allow to cool completely If you eat it hot straight out of the oven you may feel you've done something wrong because the flavor of the beetroot is quite strong until it cools - but leave them overnight and you'll be rewarded with rich, luscious brownies!
It is important in this recipe that your beetroot is cooked and smoothed to a smooth, fine puree so that the beautiful color imparts all the way through AND you don't have chunks of beetroot in your batter.
Use a glass bowl and not a plastic bowl to melt your chocolate and butter in the microwave as plastic can leach harmful chemicals into your food
Allow to cool completely overnight and eat the next day for the best flavor
The beetroot flavor is strong until it cools also the color will deepen as the days go by to a more chocolate brown but they are still fine to eat
Will easily keep for 4-5 days stored in the fridge in an air-tight container
YOU WILL NEED
Red Velvet Brownies
125g | 4 ounces | half a cup unsalted butter
200g | 7 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g | 7 ounces cooked beetroot drained (approximately 2 medium sized beetroots)
1 cup plain flour /or white spelt flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
100g | 3.5 ounces | just over half a cup dark chocolate chips
180g | 6 ounces | 2 cups roughly chopped walnuts or pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting (completely optional but delicious - halve this amount if you want to keep some plain and some frosted)
80g | 3 ounces cream cheese
40g | 1.5 ounces unsalted butter
Juice of ½ a lime OR small lemon
160g | 5.5 onces sifted icing sugar
Extra Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
Heat oven to 170°C/340°F.
Grease and line with baking paper a square 20cm x 20cm / 8 inch x 8 inch cake pan.
In a large glass bowl add the butter and dark chocolate and melt in a microwave using MEDIUM heat setting for about 2 minutes, check and STIR to see if it has melted, if not, continue cooking for another 30 seconds at MEDIUM heat, stir and continue until melted. You can also do this step on the stove over low heat in non-stick saucepan until fully melted.
Add the eggs and sugar into the chocolate and using an electric hand blender or in your food processor, blend until smooth the chocolate looks rich and glossy.
In a separate bowl use your hand blender or a small food processor, blend the beetroot until as SMOOTH AS POSSIBLE.
Add the processed beetroot the chocolate mixture and blend again ensuring that everything is well mixed and smooth.
Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, pumpkin or mixed spice and gently fold everything together until no flour is at all visible.
Use your hand blender one more time to get as smooth a batter as you can.
Add 3/4 of the dark chocolate chips and walnuts or pecans.
Pour into your greased and lined cake pan and top with remaining chocolate chips and nuts.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until set. The mixture is ready when if you press gently in the centre it is firm.
Allow to cool overnight stored in an air-tight container, cut into squares and enjoy if not frosting.
If frosting, in a small mixing bowl add the cream cheese, unsalted butter, lime/lemon and icing sugar and mix until well combined. Spread evenly over your cooled overnight brownies, sprinkle with a touch more of the Pumpkin Pie Spice if desired, cut into squares and enjoy.
MAKES 16 DELICIOUS PIECES
Please tag @eatinstylebyferitta on Instagram if you give this recipe a go so I can show you some love and see your amazing creations!