Beetroot and Chocolate Brownie, Fennel Seed Glaze and Chocolate Ganache

So here it is folks, the final segment in my two month “Chocolate Season” on! I’ve had a great time learning about how to look at, taste and cook with chocolate as well as meeting some great people along the way too!

Tomorrow night, Thursday 5th March 2015, I will be sharing this and my rosemary, salted chocolate and walnut tartlets at the launch of Clonakilty Chocolate’s new Bean-to-Bar range of chocolate’s in Molly’s Bar, Clonakilty along side the great cooks at Lettercollum and Allison of Clonakilty Chocolate herself. It’s sure to be a great night! So without further ado, here’s the recipe for this yummy treat! You might want to note that it’s highly unlikely that kids will take to the receipe as is below – I’m using high concentrates of cocoa which may not be to their pallet. If you cannot get hold of 100% cocoa, 70% is a minimum, or to make it paletable for the kids, maybe go for a 60% cocoa.

Thanks for joining me on my chocolate journey! I hope you enjoy making these recipes or maybe its inspired you to look at chocolate a little differently!

For the Brownie:
Olive oil and plain flour
100g 70% dark chocolate
100g 100% dark chocolate
250g raw beetroot (peeled and grated)
4 large eggs (separated)
150g golden caster sugar
120g ground almonds
1tsp baking powder
1tblsp cocoa powder
For the Fennel Seed Glaze:
100g caster sugar
100ml water
1tblsp fennel seeds (toasted)
For the Ganache:
100g 100% dark chocolate
Select your cake pan of choice! I prefer a square tin. The cake is rich so bite sized squares are perfect!
Brush a little olive oil all around the pan, dust the sides with a little flour, tapping off the excess, and lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 180 degs celsius.
Combine the grated beetroot, sugar, ground almonds, cocoa powder, baking powder and the yolks of 4 eggs in a large bowl and mix together.
In a heatproof bowl, melt the 200g of chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water. Take off the heat when melted.
In a separate bowl, whisk into stiff peaks the 4 egg whites.
Combine a spoonful of the whisked egg whites into the melted chocolate, then pour that mixture into the beetroot mix and stir through vigourously.
Then add in the remaining whisked egg whites and fold in until combined.
Spoon the mixture gently into the cake pan and place in the oven for anywhere between 50 – 60 minutes.
Check with a skewer to be sure it is cooked through. Don’t matter too much if there is a tiny little residue on the skewer – this is a very moist cake and you don’t want to overcook it. 60 mins max is plenty.
Meanwhile, lighty toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan taking care not to burn them.
In a small saucepan, combined the water and the sugar and bring to the boil for 2 minutes, then add the fennel seeds to infuse the syrup. Take off the heat and set aside.
When cooked, take out of the oven and as soon as you can do safely, release the cake from the pan and peel away the parchment paper from the base.
Using a skewer, puncture the cake all over. Then using a silicon brush, apply the sugar syrup. The holes will allow the syrup to sink through. Be quite liberal with the syrup, but the mixture above makes plenty so you will have left over syrup – you definitely don’t need to use it all. Don’t make the cake too soggy, and ensure you have an even spread of fennel seeds over the cake.
Set aside and allow to cool fully.
Once cooled, melt the chocolate and apply generously to the top of the cake so there is a good thick layer. Leave the ganache to set fully before cutting the cake into small square portions (or large ones if you have the appetite). Seal in an airtight container so the cake retains its moistness.

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