Monday, 27 September 2010

Beetroot Bonanza!

I spent a lovely day with my best friend, C, at the Malvern Autumn show on Saturday in the lovely setting of the Malvern hills.  The sun shone on us as we wandered around the craft stalls, flower show and animals - a real day out. 

Anyway, after a relaxing day out I managed to find the time and enthusiasm yesterday to pull up about half of my beetroot crop and spent the day in the kitchen converting the raw, red vegetable into a variety of produce for the kitchen cupboard and the cake tin!

First on the agenda was the ubiquitous pickled beetroot; actually one of my favourite pickles and so easy to make; just cook the beetroot, then peel and slice or cube and pack into sterile jars.  Pour over cold spiced vinegar then seal and label the jars.  Delicious with a selection of cold meats at Christmas time.

I then made a small quantity of beetroot chutney - a new recipe for me; I'll post the recipe for this once I've had a chance to taste it, which won't be for about 2 months whilst it matures.
Beetroot Bounty

Another recipe to be posted later is for the beetroot soup that I made yesterday, another new one for my kitchen, though whenever I take any beetroot to my sister she always mkes soup with some of it.  I've frozen most my soup as I already had some dreamy, creamy tomato soup in the fridge for us to eat.

So something pickled, something savoury, and finally something sweet.  A Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe from his River Cottage everyday book: Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies.  These didn't make it to the freezer, they were delicious, chocolatey and moist with a little 'je ne sais quoi' provided by the, do try these...

Choco-Root Brownies
Makes about 20
250g dark chocolate broken into pieces
250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
250g caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
150g self-raising flour
250g beetroot, boiled until tender, then peeled and grated

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking tin of approximately 20 x 30 x 3cm and line the bottom with baking parchment.

Break up the chocolate into pieces, cut the butter into cubes then melt together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until combined, then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Gently fold in the flour then the beetroot – be careful not to overmix or it will make the brownies tough.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over the top with a spatula. Bake for about 20 minutes. A knife or skewer pushed into the middle should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.  Remove the tin from the oven and leave on wire rack to cool before cutting into squares  Lovely on their own or even better warm from the oven with some good vanilla ice cream!

I've still got the other half of the beetroot crop to deal with - any suggestions?


Sylvie said...

Wow! I'm jealous!

Joanna said...

Hi Susan thought I'd pop over and visit with you. Looks like you had beetroot beetroot everywhere. We were given a whole lot of elderly beets by a relative this winter and we made borscht and the relish from Pam Corbin's Preserves, the one with the roast tomatoes and horseradish, which is very nice on toast with a bit of mozarella on top under the grill as it is quite sweet. Look forward to seeing your beetroot chutney recipe! Your brownies look excellent :)

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