11.4.18

The best beetroot espresso brownie

Such is the brownie’s reputation; it can cope with an unorthodox intruder. Both the beetroot and the coffee make this particular version sing; it is bitter, but not too much, rich but not to it’s detriment and even gluten free to satisfy those guests. 

 

BEETROOT ESPRESSO BROWNIE


MAKES 16 BROWNIES

PREP TIME - 20 MINUTES

COOK TIME – 45 MINUTES



INGREDIENTS

200g raw beetroot, peeled  (approximately 2 medium)

250g 70% dark chocolate


2 heaped tsp. instant coffee granules

200g unsalted butter


400g caster sugar

4 medium eggs, beaten

50g cocoa powder

50g plain flour


Pinch of salt



You will also need a 20cm x 20cm x 4cm square tin



1. Preheat the oven to 180C, fan 160C, gas 4. Line a 20cm x 20cm x 4cm shallow brownie tin with parchment paper.



2. Prepare the beetroot by peeling and grating on the fine side of a box grater.   



3. Melt the chocolate, butter and coffee granules very gently in a large, heavy based saucepan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped beetroot, caster sugar sugar and beaten eggs. Combine thoroughly before adding cocoa powder, plain flour and a pinch of salt to the mixture. Stir well.



4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until just cooked, brownies are easy to over bake. The top should be dried to a paler brow, but the middle should still be dark and dense and gooey and only just firm. Allow to cool completely in tin before slicing, as it will continue to cook until cooled.


12.2.18

Foolproof Ultimate Pancakes



Every year for I’d say, 15 years I’ve made pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Lent beginning was a major thing at home and sitting around the kitchen we’d each resolve to change habits or indeed, take up new challenges. Mum would always aim to eat fewer nuts, she could survive on salted peanuts if she had her way and dad would invariably deny himself double cream for forty days.  As I write, I’m thinking about what shall be my challenge for this year and I think my diet coke habit could be kicked into touch or that 4pm coffee…  

This recipe for pancakes is stolen from my days at Leith’s (I think) or given to me by somebody, I don’t remember who. They are the best I’ve had and should be wolfed down as soon as they touch the plate.

FOOLPROOF ULTIMATE PANCAKES 

110g Plain Flour 
A pinch of salt 
A pinch of sugar 
1 egg 
1 egg yolk 
285ml Milk 
A little butter, to fry 

Put the flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the egg yolk and milk until smooth. Rest for 30 minutes. Fry in batches in a buttered frying pan.