Ultra gooey chocolate beetroot brownies

Beetroot brownies

Beetroot brownies

When I worked near Borough Market, every Friday was brownie day and I devoured an obscene amount of brownies in my quest to determine which stall sold the best. They were judged purely on taste and sheer eating pleasure, although it was very tempting to take the size into account ­­as some of them were ginormous slabs, the size of books.

The texture was also a contributing factor to the winning brownie because a satisfying crust on the top with a fudgy centre is absolutely essential for a great brownie. Quite a few weren’t squidgy enough for my liking, but to be fair to the bakers, if the brownies very gooey then it would be tricky to then cut into perfect pieces and transport to market. But after many weeks of indulgent brownie sampling and lots of finger licking, I found a deserving winner and continued the Friday tradition for as long as I worked at London Bridge.

Understandably, I abstained from brownies for a while after that splurge – as much as I love a good brownie you definitely can have too much of a good thing. But the allure of Nigel Slater’s extremely moist chocolate beetroot cake was just too much, so I fell off the chocolate wagon with a bang. Whilst Nigel’s beetroot and chocolate cake is utterly delectable, I just love the crust and extra squidginess you get with brownies, so I committed myself to baking on an unhealthy scale to achieve my perfect beetroot brownie.

I like my brownies to be rich but not overly sweet, so this recipe provides the perfect balance between sweetness and bitter chocolate, with earthy beetroot deliberately obvious but sitting in the background. As well as a deep pink hue, the beetroot gives the brownies the most wonderful velvety texture which make these a joy to eat. I have enjoyed these treats just as they are, washed down with a glass of cold milk, but they also make an excellent dessert: served warm with orange zest and a dollop of crème fraiche.

I was so happy with these I’ve considered reinstating the tradition of brownie Friday, but I think they are best reserved for the occasional treat when I can just enjoy them without analysing every minute detail and giving marks out of 10!


Makes 12

200g unsalted butter
250g good quality dark chocolate
200g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
60g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
Half tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
300g cooked beetroot

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm tin.
  2. Puree the beetroot in a food processor until smooth and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and the chocolate gently in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until increased in volume and are lighter in colour.
  5. Stir in the chocolate mixture, then sieve in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and add a pinch of salt, stir to mix then fold in the beetroot puree with a large metal spoon until everything is well combined.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Mine took 28 minutes but ovens vary so check before the cooking time. Use your fingers to test the brownie: you want a lovely firm crust on top with softness underneath. If too soft, put back in for a few more minutes. You can also insert a skewer; you’re looking for some moist chocolate crumbs sticking to it.
  7. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack. They’re easier to cut when cooled properly but I can never wait that long.

18 thoughts on “Ultra gooey chocolate beetroot brownies

  1. Sam

    Wow!! These brownies were the best me and me mam have ever tasted!! Thank you for sharing this recipie!! We’ll definitely make them again!

  2. Layla

    Tried these mmm
    Made them gluten free by subbing 50/50 rice flour and oat flour and they came out a tad too mushy. Practically fell apart taking them out the tin put still soo good! Might add some coconut in future to firm them up. But defo a keeper recipe

  3. Val McArthur Post author

    Should be fine. I would put it on 170 as you still want a nice crust to develop on the top. Check after 25 mins but in all likelihood they will need a few more minutes. Use a skewer and you can test to see how much gooeyness comes out. Look forward to hearing how they turn out.

  4. MM

    Hi. I want to try these tomorrow. Is it ok to use the fan oven setting? And if so, should I perhaps cook them at 160 instead of 180? Thanks 🙂

  5. Anonymous

    Thank you! I’m so pleased they worked out well, particularly as you don’t bake often. They are very moorish aren’t they?

  6. NoviceBaker

    I never bake but I found this recipe easy to follow & I am pleased with finished result. I prefer this to other beetroot cakes I have tried because I can actually taste the beetroot! Great recipe.

  7. Anonymous

    Glad they were a success. Stash some secretly away for yourself this time!

  8. Jane Watson

    Thanks for posting this recipe! I’m going to make my second batch this morning as I took the first batch to work and I only got to eat one myself! Everyone thought they were amazing!!
    The end result were ultra gooey, going to try a couple more minutes in the oven this time. 😃

  9. Anonymous

    Wow! That’s a great comment as everyone has tried lots of brownies. Thank you! Enjoy.

  10. Anonymous

    Hi there. Sorry for late reply as I’ve just come back from holiday. Yes, the tin size should be big enough as have tried it a few times myself and I have also had a few positive comments from other people that have tried it. Hmmm, the only thing I can think of is maybe your oven isn’t the right temperature. It’s not unusual for a bit of cracking to appear but it sounds like there was too much heat coming from above as it should’t be excessive. Was your oven on fan setting or did you have the top heat unit on too?

  11. Anonymous

    Are you sure a 20cm x 20cm tray I big enough? My brownie has been in the oven for over half an hour, is still wet mixture in the centre, an the entire top has cracked open in several places. Not the perfect looking brownie I had hoped to give my mumma. The mixture tasted amazing though so it should still be tasty.

  12. Val McArthur Post author

    So pleased they were a success! You’re very good chopping them up small as I couldn’t resist mine and definitely over indulged. I’m on a bit of a health kick at the moment after coming back recently from New York – so no chocolate for me. For a short while anyway 🙂

  13. Sarah Kay

    Stirling! Stunning! As per initial description…not too sweet, slightly earthy, completely gooey, almost the texture of an egg-y flourless cake underneath. We have chopped them small so we can enjoy for longer. Thanku 🙂

  14. Anonymous

    Sorry for late reply. Glad you stumbled across the brownie recipe and by accident too! Beetroot and chocolate – what a winner combination. How was the flavour turn out in the end?

  15. Sarah Kay

    11.15pm here in Tasmania. Just tried my “10 minutes out of the oven” choc beetroot brownie. I think you may have hit upon a winner Hearty Food. After declaring last week that i was yet to find the best brownie recipe…I may have at last stumbled upon it…quite by accident… having excess beetroot in the fridge! Thanku. Will review final flavor in the am!

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