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Gluten free, sugar free (but still delicious) brownies

beetroot brownieLast Friday - when I was at Sarah Raven's garden in East Sussex we had a brownie so delicious that I managed to smear half on it over my forehead. Sadly I did not notice this until lunchtime, when I saw myself in a mirror, and wondered why I had a great chocolatey streak above my eyebrows.

However, even that did not put me off trying to recreate the brownies when I got home. The brilliant thing is that they are gluten free and refined sugar free and have fruit and vegetables in them, so you can pretty much pretend that they are a health food.

The recipe is from Sarah Raven's book Good, Good Food (which I haven't had a duff meal from yet)

Beetroot Brownie


  • 200g beetroot (2-3 small beetroots, if you are in a rush I can't see why the vacuum packed cooked beetroot wouldn't work)
  • 200g 70% cocoa chocolate (or above)
  • 200g stoned dates
  • 100g ground almonds
  • zest and juice of a large orange
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free if that matters)

Cook the beetroots in a pan of boiling water until they are soft. This will take 30-45 minutes. Let them cool a bit and chop up. I didn't peel the beetroots as they were small and young but the original recipe says you should.

Preheat oven to 180/Gas Mark 4 and line a 20 cm baking dish with baking parchment.

Melt the chocolate, either in a bowl over simmering water or in the microwave.

Blend the beetroots and the dates together - I used a blending wand which worked fine.

Add in the almonds, beaten eggs, orange zest and juice, and baking powder - mix well and then stir in the melted chocolate.

Pour/spoon into the baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean - you want it to be still squidgy. Leave to cool in the tin and then cut into small squares.

As you can see in the photo, at Sarah Raven's they added on a very smart (if forehead staining) ganache icing to the top but I don't think you need it as the brownies are very rich and satisfying on their own.

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Comments: 2 (Add)

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Jenny Dealtry

I don't like dates, is there anything else you think might work instead?

Snapdragon Jane

I would think that most large dried fruits would work, maybe prunes would be nearest - but it doesn't taste of dates (or indeed beetroot).
The dates are there for sweetness and an element of gooiness.