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Recipe: Briony May’s spiced beetroot brownies

Brilliant Bristol baker and Great British Bake Off alumna Briony May Williams shares what she’s been making
this month

It’s a bit of an unspoken rule among bakers that you should all have a great brownie recipe. I have to be honest, until a few months ago, I didn’t (don’t tell Bake Off!). Then myself and fellow Bristolian Dean Edwards, of MasterChef fame, decided to do a pop-up restaurant with a Moroccan vibe at the end of April, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to develop my very own, quirky spiced brownies. With beetroot season fast approaching, it was the perfect ingredient to add as, mixed with chocolate, it is a winning flavour combination. At the pop-up, I served the brownies with a tahini ice cream but they taste just as delicious, warm from the oven, with vanilla ice cream. So here they are, especially for the lovely people of Bristol… Briony’s beetroot brownies!

Spiced beetroot brownies

4 cooked beetroots
2 tbsp vegetable oil
250g unsalted butter, melted
200g golden caster sugar
100g light muscovado sugar
75g dark brown muscovado sugar (tip: if you don’t have the muscovado sugar to hand, use 350g golden caster sugar)
3 medium eggs
200g plain flour
75g cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp ginger
75g walnuts, chopped
200g dark chocolate chips
150ml boiling water and 2 tsp instant coffee

• Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Grease and line a baking tray, roughly 10” x 8”.
• Pop beetroot and vegetable oil in blender and whizz until smooth. In mixing bowl, mix beetroot, melted butter, sugars and eggs.
• Sift in flour, cocoa powder, salt and spices. Mix to combine. Add chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. Mix to combine.
• Mix boiling water with 2 tsp instant coffee. Add to brownie mixture. Mix until just combined. Tip: don’t overmix the brownie mixture as it will make the final product very cakey rather than the traditional texture.
• Pour into baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes until top has set. Leave to cool in tray for 15 minutes. Serve warm immediately with vanilla ice cream or leave to cool completely and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Did you know? The Victorians used beetroot as a natural red hair dye; the world’s heaviest beetroot was nearly 24kg and was grown just down the road in Somerset and, in Roman times, beetroot was used to get rid of garlic breath!

Follow Briony on Twitter and Instagram: @brionymaybakes. Illustration by Cat Faulkner (@catherinedoart); photography by Ciara Hillyer (@ciarahillyer)