Tag Archives: Brownie

Chocolate Beetroot Brownies

beetroot brownies


I’ve been experimenting with vegetables in cakes and sweet treats for years now and Beetroot is always a favourite of mine to use as it adds a special sweetness and earthy flavour to a dish.  I have so many different recipes for Chocolate Beetroot Brownies and never seem to use the same one twice.  Sometimes I like to ice brownies, sometimes I like to add different types of chocolate and sometimes I like to keep them plain.

This recipe is adapted from a River Cottage version, I like to use dark and milk chocolate and golden caster sugar.  My brownies seem to take longer than Hugh’s version but that could be down to my cake tin as it’s not as wide as the one suggested.

You will need:

  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 150g 70% dark chocolate and 100g good quality milk chocolate broken into pieces
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 250g beetroot, boiled until tender, cooled, peeled and grated.  I used mixed beetroot so I had one purple and one pink.



Grease and line a baking tin, I use a square 20cm tin.

Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water until the chocolate and butter start to melt.  One melting has started stir until everything has mixed together and there are no lumps,

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Combine the salt with the flour, sift them over the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Fold in the grated beetroot until everything is mixed.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes; when the brownies are done, a knife or skewer inserted in the centre should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. If the mixture is still runny pop back in for a 5 min intervals and keep checking for firmness.  Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting in to squares.



The end result is a very moist brownie that will last for 4 days if you can keep them that long!

Afternoon Tea – Gourmand Style

I recently met up with my friend Carmen for afternoon tea at the Sofitel Hotel in London, I was being polite and didn’t take any pictures of my food which was a hard task for me considering my phone currently houses over 800 pictures (I’ve only had it since December)

Grandma and Mini Gourmand were of course very jealous that I had been out for food without them, Mini Gourmand has never had afternoon tea and Grandma Gourmand usually complains that it doesn’t look very filling for the price – typical!

We had originally planned to just have a sandwich for lunch but the Coffee cake I had purchased from local deli Country Bumpkins inspired me to prepare an afternoon tea.


We ate:

Egg and Cress Sandwiches

Prawn and Avocado Sandwiches

Cream Cheese and Chive Sandwiches

Scones with Hedgerow jam and clotted cream

Coffee Cake

Chocolate Éclairs

Chocolate brownies


I explained to Grandma Gourmand that the amount of food we had was similar if not less than the amount you would get in a traditional afternoon tea, we left a sandwich each, a slice of cake and an éclair proving that afternoon tea is filling and is worth every penny (especially when cakes are home-made)

I love reading blog posts featuring afternoon tea so if you have one please share your links below!

Stuffed Cookie Brownies

I did actually make these brownies a few months ago after seeing a similar post on one of the blogs that I follow, I was desperate to make the brownies for myself but I had an issue with them! (They were made with packet mixes!)

While I do appreciate packet mixes have their place in the supermarket I’m a bit of a snob and would rather make things from scratch where possible, especially when it comes to cakes!

After scouring my american cookery books (Americans make the best cookies and brownies!) I managed to find a good cake like cookie recipe and a decadent brownie recipe which I’ve used previously.

Cookie Recipe (as this is an american recipe some of the weights are in cups (I personally find this is a much easier way of weighing)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Maldon)
12 tablespoons  unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 packed cup of light brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups milk chocolate chips

 In a food mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. slowly beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Place the cookie dough into a brownie tin lined with baking paper, press down with your fingers until evenly spread.

***** Place a layer of double chocolate Oreo cookies over the cookie dough and gently press down *****

Brownie Recipe (as this is an american recipe some of the weights are in cups (I personally find this is a much easier way of weighing)

140g dark chocolate chopped into rough chunks
½ cup butter
1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Melt the chocolate and butter together and cool slightly.
In a food mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together.  Gradually mix in the melted chocolate mixture and beat until evenly mixed.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the flour and cocoa powder.  Do not over mix.
Pour the brownie mixture over the Oreo layer, covering them completely.
Bake in a 190 degree oven for around 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the brownie comes out with moist crumbs.

Firenze Jesmond

The last time I visited Firenze was with my mother in law, Mr Gourmand was in Australia with his father at the time and being a man who doesn’t like to fee like he has missed out he insisted I take him to Firenze for lunch.

The restaurant is very contemporary, light and spacious meaning it’s perfect for a romantic meal or dinner with a group of friends.

Mr Gourmand started with the Asparagus wrapped in Parma ham drizzled with lemon oil, the asparagus was sweet and crisp and the salad was a welcome accompaniment to the dish.

I started with the potato skins which were served with a garlic mayo and smoked paprika dip.  The skins were crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, perfect!

My main course was the Pan seared chicken breast served with a pepper sauce and roasted vegetables.  The vegetable dish was huge and more than enough for two people never mind one person!  The chicken was moist and the pepper sauce really complimented the dish.

Mr Gourmand picked the Pan seared sea bass which was served with buttered and crushed new potatoes with olive oil.  Thankfully I had more than enough vegetables to share otherwise this dish would have been a little boring.

Mr Gourmand was the only one with room for a dessert and chose the warmed chocolate brownie with ice cream which he assured me was delicious.

Firenze is situated in the courtyard off Holly Avenue West, Jesmond