Beetroot Chocolate Brownies
Makes: 16 brownies
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes
250g dark chocolate
(70% cocoa solids)
200g butter, plus a little extra for greasing the tin
250g cooked beetroot, drained 200g light brown sugar
150g ground almonds
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp plain flour
Optional: beetroot powder or cocoa to dust
Preheat the oven to 200°C or 180°C (if using a fan oven). Prepare a 23cm square baking tin by greasing all over with a little butter. Line with baking paper.
Place the chocolate and butter in a heavy based saucepan on a medium heat and stir until completely melted. Once melted, remove from
the heat and leave to cool slightly. Tip the beetroot into a food processor and process to a puree, pausing the motor to scrape down the sides if necessary. Add the light brown sugar and mix well in the processor to create a pink paste. Add the melted chocolate, butter and the eggs and whizz again until combined. Again, scrape the sides down, then add the ground almonds, cocoa and plain flour until you have a smooth batter.
Spoon the brownie mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the top is set and the brownie is starting to come away from the sides of the tin. A skewer inserted into the centre will come out fairly clean but stick a touch sticky – don’t worry if it still seems a little soft as it will firm up on cooling and these brownie bites are designed to be quite squidgy and moist. Remove from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and allow to go cold in the tin.
Once cool, ease the brownie from the tin and cut into 16 squares. If using, dust the surface with a little beetroot powder or cocoa powder and enjoy.
Carrot Cake Muffins
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes
200g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
100g light muscovado sugar 1 large egg
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp finely grated orange zest 100ml milk
50g butter, melted
250g carrots, finely grated 70g South African raisins
150g cream cheese
2tsp icing sugar
1tsp finely grated orange zest 8 sugar carrot decorations.
Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6. Put 8 paper muffin cases into a muffin tin.
Put the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar.
Beat together the egg, vanilla extract, orange zest, milk and melted butter. Add to the dry ingredients with the grated carrots and raisins and stir until just combined. Avoid over- mixing.
Share the mixture between the paper cases. Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar and orange zest. Spread onto the muffins, then serve, topped with fine shreds of orange zest and the carrot decorations.
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Spiced Orange Hot Cross Buns
Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus approx. 2 hours to rise Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
500g strong white bread flour 40g butter, plus extra for greasing 1tsp salt
2tsp fast action dried yeast
50g caster sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
Finely grated zest of 1 orange 150g raisins
A little vegetable oil
80g plain flour 50g caster sugar
Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add the salt, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and raisins, stirring them in to mix thoroughly.
Heat the milk until lukewarm, then beat in the egg. Add to the flour mixture and stir it through, then draw the dough together with your hand. Transfer to a floured worktop and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Put the dough back into the clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly for just a few moments, then cut into 12 equal pieces and shape into buns.
Lightly grease a baking sheet with a little vegetable oil, then arrange the buns on top. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 50-60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan oven 180°C, Gas Mark 6.
Meanwhile, mix the plain flour with a little cold water to make dough for the crosses. Roll out and cut into 24 short lengths. Place on top of the buns once they have risen. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes, until risen and golden brown.
Heat the caster sugar with 5 tablespoons of water for 2-3 minutes to make a glaze. Brush over the buns while they are warm.