Beets have a lot of strikes against them. Well-intentioned relatives are always serving them, slippery out of the can. Their name is “beet”, which is decidedly one of the most unpoetic vegetable names. (At least the other until-recently maligned vegetable, Brussels sprouts, has that Continental air to it.) And of course, there is the whole Lady Macbeth thing. The primary concern about cooking shouldn’t be the bloody aftermath.
Which is all to say that I’ve never been to psyched to see these tubers lurking in my veggie delivery box. I’ve eaten them, trying not to make a bad face at the dinner table in order to influence my son or keep up the illusion that I am indeed a hotshot foodie.
Now that it is beet season again, I’m more determined to if not like the darn things by themselves, to at least find ways of incorporating them into foods I do enjoy. And, of course, I enjoy chocolate. What food blogger doesn’t like chocolate, right? (Don’t answer that. I know there are plenty who at least make the claim, but honestly, can we really trust them?)
Beet brownies aren’t a new thing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be proud of them. Plus, these are gluten-free, so I know I can feed them to my friends without having to worry about dietary issues. I’ve found that garbanzo bean flour to be really reliable for me in the gluten-free department – it has worked well for cornbread, cookies, and now brownies. These did end up a little more cakey than I had expected, so if you like a more fudgey brownie, use a bit less flour.
You’ll notice that I included gram measurements for the chickpea flour and cocoa. This is due to differing scoop methods – I’ve been burned in the past with recipes that only list a cup measurement, so I have decided to be more precise when it comes to my flour measurements on posts. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, they are extremely affordable and perhaps the best tool you’ll add to your arsenal.
250 g / 9 ounces beets
1 packet (2 tablets) Taza Mexican chocolate (or 3 ounces 70% chocolate)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (70 g) garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
Trim long roots and greens from beets and clean off any dirt. Dice them into quarters (or smaller, depending on the size of your beets) and set in a pot of water to boil. Boil until easily pierced by a fork, approximately 30 minutes. Drain and let cool until they are comfortably handled.
Meanwhile melt chocolate in the microwaves at 30-second intervals. Whisk until smooth and completely melted. Set aside. In another bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, and set aside.
Once the beets have cooled, the peels should slip off easily. Place peeled beets in blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together beets, chocolate, and sugar. Beat in the eggs, and add the vanilla. Stir until smooth.
Add the flour mixture to the large bowl and stir until well-incorporated.
Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool as much as possible before cutting. Great the first day, better the second.