Chocolate and Beetroot Brownie

First of all, I should say that this isn’t my recipe. Nine years ago I discovered a marvellous book (details at the bottom of this post) which was full of delightful and delicious recipes, and also used vegetables instead of fats.

This really appealed to me as I love cake but not the calories that go with it. Is there such a thing as healthy cake? Well these recipes get pretty close.

The book’s author Harry Eastwood uses parsnips, butternut squash, courgettes, and a number of other vegetables in her recipes. The Forbidden Chocolate Brownie recipe uses beetroot.

The chocolate and beetroot brownies are my ‘go to’ recipe in this book. When you bite into them you get a delicious chocolate taste that just seems to deepen as the beetroot kicks in. I’m not actually a lover of beetroot, but in this instance I’ll happily consume it!

Brownie end offcuts

My recent bake of this was for work, and it was happily devoured by my colleagues.

Once I’d baked it and taken it out of the oven, I let it cool for a little while then cut the ends off to tidy them up and to ensure I got neat slices when it was cut.

Needless to say I had to eat those offcuts to try them out before taking them into the office. It definitely passed the taste test!

If you cut this into 12 then each slice will be 260 calories. I usually cut into 15 for work, so more people can have one.


400g chopped up beetroot (I buy mine ready cooked – don’t get the pickled ones!)
100g hazelnuts (blitzed as fine as you can in food processor), plus 30g chopped for the top
3 medium eggs
220g light Muscovado sugar
1/4 tsp salt
150g dark cooking chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids – Green & Black’s is my favourite)
2 tbsp white rice flour
70g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
Plus a brownie tin of 27cm x 20cm x 5cm

How I made them:
1. Line your brownie tin with greaseproof paper and spray frylight (or vegetable oil) over it.
2. Place the eggs, sugar and salt into a bowl and use a hand-held whisk to whisk for about 5 minutes or until tripled in size.
3. Place the pre-cooked beetroot in a bowl, add in a small amount of water, cover and place in the microwave for about 5 minutes. (If you’re using raw then cook for 10 minutes). Then blend the beetroot and drop in the broken-up chocolate. The chocolate should melt into the beetroot.
4. Back to your egg mixture. Slowly beat in the ‘ground’ hazelnuts, rice flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
5. Stir the beetroot and chocolate, then fold into this mix.
6. Turn your oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3.
7. Pour this mix into the brownie tin.
8. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top.
9. Put the brownie tin in the oven on the middle shelf for 35-40 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, leave it in the tin for 20 minutes before taking it out and cutting.

If you’d like to check out the recipe book then it’s Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood – Amazon UK / Amazon US.

You can also follow Harry Eastwood on instagram.

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You may also like to read my recipe for summer strawberries.