During freeze up, pacing around the cabin is not uncommon.

Oversupplying oneself with more food than even two people could eat is also a common rookie move. I was guilty of both.

While digging through what was left of the veg I brought over for freeze up, I was slightly overwhelmed by the amount of beets that were still in my burlap sack.

I made some soups, stews and pickles. I roasted, boiled and baked them, yet there is still a good amount left. I decided to turn to sweet applications for inspiration and solutions. What was I thinking, buying so many beets?

On a trip last fall to Dorset, England, while visiting River Cottage (author/broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s back-to-basics food retreat) I remembered eating some delicious beet brownies.

In the same way a carrot found its way into the cake, at River Cottage, beets found their way into brownies. In both cases, they do an amazing job keeping things moist and sweet.

With some juggling around and some of my own little tweaks, I came up with this variation of the ones I had eaten there.

I love the texture and flavour the beets add to this semi-traditional fudge cake.

This also freezes very well, as I involuntarily found out, so make a double batch and move some of those beets!

Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Makes about 20

.

INGREDIENTS

250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

30g chopped nuts (optional)

30g cocoa powder (sifted)

1 tsp chipotle chili powder (optional)

3 medium eggs

150g cane or white sugar

100ml birch syrup

A good pinch of sea salt

150g flour

1 tsp baking powder

zest of 1 orange

250g beetroot, boiled until tender, cooled, peeled and grated

DIRECTIONS

Grease a shallow baking tin, approximately 20 x 25cm or equivalent, (I used a 10-inch round pot) and line the base with baking parchment or foil.

Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

Set the oven at 350F and put the bowl in it for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter start to melt.

Stir, then put back into the oven for a few more minutes to melt completely. Yes… you can melt it the traditional way by heating up a pot of water and setting it over top, but it seems like a waste to not use the already heating oven to do the same job.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined, then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth.

Combine the salt with the flour, sift them over the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon.

Fold in the grated beetroot and nuts, if using. Be careful not to over-mix or it will make the brownies tough.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes

When the brownies are done, a knife or skewer inserted in the centre should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Don’t be tempted to overcook them, or they will be dry.

Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.