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Beetroot and espresso brownie with beetroot meringues, salted caramel, white chocolate and kirsch ice cream

by Georgina Fuggle
Beetroot and espresso brownie with beetroot meringues, salted caramel, white  chocolate and kirsch ice cream

Beetroot and espresso brownie with beetroot meringues, salted caramel, white chocolate and kirsch ice cream

PT2H30M

Why not try?

Chocolate. Now there’s a word that makes us sit up, take notice and resist urges to sing love songs at the top of our lungs. There can’t be many people that have a chocolate aversion, I’ve certainly never met one and I’m certainly not one of them. In fact, my very first ‘proper job’ was working at a fledgling chocolate company and I could not have been happier.

Such is its reputation; chocolate can cope with being the star of the proverbial dessert show. It is the edible canvas and our job, as the cook, is to add the colour. For the mother of all chocolate brands, Godiva, you absolutely, 100%, definitely know, the chocolate is going to taste phenomenal so anything added to the plate must be wanted, hell, needed.

Beetroot is another favourite of mine. The extraordinary, unexpected, ridiculous pink that emerges from a dismal looking beet is a joy. The taste is bitter and sophisticated; an ideal partner to this chocolate romance. I’m presenting you with a luxurious, soft beetroot brownie with a hit of espresso. A gloriously thick white chocolate ice cream made with condensed milk (you’ve gotta love being British) balances naively atop, unaware that just before eating, it will be doused in salted caramel. But wait, one more thing, the crunch. Ah yes, a tiny beetroot bleached meringue sits next to the sweet island, a saccharine ice burg in this sea of chocolate heaven. I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

1
First, make the ice cream. Gently melt the single cream and chocolate together in a pan. Once molten, stir in the condensed milk and remove from the heat
2
Mix the kirsch into the chocolate and cream. Fold in the whipped cream, then transfer to a container. Allow to freeze overnight
3
Preheat the oven to 110°C/gas mark 1/2
4
For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a large grease-free bowl until very stiff and dry. Whisk in half of the sugar, then gently fold in the remaining sugar along with the vanilla extract
5
Place the grated beetroot in a piece of muslin and squeeze the beetroot juice into the bowl. Using a large spoon, carefully and gently fold the juice into the meringue
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6
Transfer the mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm star nozzle and pipe small mounds onto a lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour until the meringues are crisp on the outside, but not browned – prop the oven door open slightly if they start to discolour. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues to cool overnight
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7
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a 20cm x 20cm x 4cm shallow brownie tin with parchment paper
8
To make the brownies, melt the chocolate, butter and coffee granules very gently in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped beetroot, caster sugar and beaten eggs. Combine thoroughly before adding cocoa powder, plain flour and a pinch of salt to the mixture. Stir well
9
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until just cooked – brownies are easy to over-bake. The top should be dried to a paler brow, but the middle should still be dark and dense and gooey and only just firm. Allow to cool completely in the tin before slicing, as it will continue to cook until cooled
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10
To make the sauce, heat the sugar and water in a medium, clean, saucepan over a medium heat, for 2–3 minutes. The sugar will melt and small bubbles will start appearing. Don’t be tempted to stir, this can encourage the caramel to crystalise – just swill the pan round using the handle
11
Once the sugar has started boiling, after about 5 minutes, it should be light brown in colour. Continue boiling until it has become medium brown in colour. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the cream into the mixture. It will hiss and spit and seem to solidify but be patient and return to the heat for 2–3 minutes. Stir through the salt and transfer to a glass jar or bowl and let cool to room temperature or pop in the fridge for 20 minutes
12
Remove the ice cream from the freezer 10 minutes before serving to allow the ice cream to soften
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13
To serve, sandwich together two meringues with a dollop of caramel sauce. Place a square of brownie onto each plate, top with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle over some caramel sauce. Garnish with the meringues and serve
 

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