Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand - Mother Teresa


It was a simple request from my sweet daughter, and since she is pregnant and prone to cravings, I caved. Cakes, slices and baked goods aren’t my favourite thing to eat, but my family, who like to nibble on a sweet after dinner or for afternoon tea on the weekend, like variety and brownies are popular. These black bean beetroot brownies are quite decadent with a fudge topping and I believe are special enough to serve to friends for weekend entertaining. 

If I’m busy and wan to make these brownies, I buy cooked beetroot. Yet if you have the time and wish to cook the beetroot, don a pair of gloves, peel two small/medium beetroot and cut in half. Cook with ample water until tender, put beetroot into a bowl and cool in the freezer for a wee while. To achieve a sweeter earthy beetroot flavour, buy young organic beetroot.

Health benefits:

·       Eric L. Ding, PhD, of Harvard Medical School says the apparent health benefits of cacao come from polyphenolic flavonoids in cocoa that have the potential to prevent heart disease. Flavonoids are antioxidants that are commonly found in fruits and vegetables.


Use a 26cm x 21cm enamel cake tin

V, RSF, DF, GF option


To make a brownie cake:

400gram tin of unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed

2 small beetroot, cooked

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup almond milk

1½ cups spelt flour OR GF plain flour

¼ cup cacao powder

2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

pinch of sea salt

1½ cups dark vegan chocolate chips

To make a fudge topping:

¾ cup vegan dark chocolate chips

¼ cup nut butter, almond or cashew

cacao powder for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180’C fan-forced/200’C/390’F/Gas Mark 5. Grease an enamel baking tray. In a food processor, add all the ingredients except dark chocolate chips and blend to create a smooth batter. Stir in a cup of the dark chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin, scatter the remaining chocolate chips over the top and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Cool cake in the baking tray on a wire rack. If you wish to add a fudgy topping, pour chocolate chips and nut butter into a double boiler and mix until smooth. Cool the fudge topping a little and spread over the cooled cake with a spoon. Dust with cacao powder, cut into squares and store in an airtight container. Serve with fruit or vegan ice cream for a sweet.