Chocolate and beetroot brownies

beetroot brownies

In the aftermath of #beetrootgate, beetroot brownies… A slightly less guilty pleasure, with a rich and velvety texture. Truth to be said, I like this version better than the 100% chocolaty thing.

Chocolate and beetroot brownies (adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall ‘s River Cottage Everyday)

Ingredients 

  • 250g of unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into pieces
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 150g whole meal flower
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder (or according to instructions in the package)
  • 250g of beetroot, boiled until tender then peeled and grated.

Method

Set the oven to 180oC

Grease a baking tray, and cover the bottom with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate and the butter in a bain marie. If you don’t have a proper double boiler (I don’t), just  fit a metal bowl over a small saucepan filed with a few centimeter  of water, making sure the bowl isn’t touching the water. Let the water boil, while mixing the butter and the chocolate until the mixture is well combined and glossy.

Whisk the eggs and the sugar until well combined. Then beat in the chocolate and butter  until smooth.

Combine the flour with salt and baking powder. Sift them over the chocolate mix. Gently fold in with a wooden spoon.

Finally, fold in the grated beetroot, and keep on folding gently. Be careful not to over mix – otherwise you will get though brownies

Put the mixture in a tin and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake for 20-25min, or until a knife insert into the center come out slightly moisten or with a few crumbs attached.

Let it cool until you cut the squares.


Lentil soup with caraway and minted yoghurt

lentil soup

What else to eat on the first day of the year, but a fragrant lentil soup to bring you good luck? For best results, eat it while standing on you right foot on top of a stool and holding a piece of gold in your hand. Wearing a bright red piece of clothing is an absolute must. When you are done with the soup proceed immediately to eat 12 grapes or raisins.  Superstitious, me? Absolutely not – it is just my brain doing its job.

Lentil soup with caraway and minted yoghurt (adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall ‘s River Cottage Everyday)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 onions roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 350g red lentils
  • 2 liters of water or vegetable stock
  • 5 tablespoons of yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped mint

Method

1. Heat the oil in a  saucepan, until it is pipping hot. Then add  the onions and carrots, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan with a lid and let the vegetables sweat until they have soften, stirring occasionally

2. In the meanwhile, toast the coriander and caraway seed in a small frying pan. Grind them a fine powder using a mortar or a grinder (it is not strictly necessary to do this, but it will help to get a more fragrant soup).

3. Once the vegetables are soft,  add the ground spices and the garlic and let them fry fir a couple of minutes.

4. Add the lentils and mix well, until the lentils are covered with olive oil.

5. Pour the stock in the lentils and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft (about  15–20 minutes).

6. With a hand held mixer, purée until smooth. Add more water or stock if too thick.

7. Put the pan back in the stove and season to taste with salt and pepper. If necessary add the remaining spices. Let it simmer gently for about 5 min more.

8. To finish, whisk  yoghurt and the mint. Put a dollop on top of the soup in each serving bowl