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Liezl Mercado's Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies

31 March 2016

• 250 g. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
• 250 g. dark chocolate (about 70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
• 3 medium eggs
• 250 g. caster sugar
•  A pinch of sea salt
• 150 g. self-raising flour (whole meal ideally, but white works well too)
• 250 g. beetroot, boiled until tender, cooled , peeled and grated

1. Grease a shallow baking tin, approximately 20 x 25 cm. and line the base with baking parchment.
2. Put the butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Set the oven at 180 degrees Celsius or Gas Mark 4 and put the bowl in it for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter star to melt.
3. Stir, then put back in to the oven for a few more minutes to melt completely, you could melt them together in the traditional way. Over a pan of hot water, but it is a shame not to exploit the warming oven.
4. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth.
5. Combine the salt with the flour, sift them over the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon.
6. Fold in the grated beetroot- be careful not to over-mix or it will make the brownies tough
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes; when the brownies are done, a knife or skewer inserted in the center should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Don’t be tempted to overcook them or they will be dry.
9. Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.
10. Garnish with thinly sliced strawberries and drizzle with icing sugar before serving each square portion.

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