Though these brownies should arguably be a blazing shade of red velvet, sometimes things just don’t go as planned and you just have to roll with it. Like on Tuesday, when I was supposed to give a huge presentation at 8am, only to wake up to a text from my colleague informing me that I had to be downstairs at 7:10; the presentation has been moved up (!!!). To say I was frazzled was an understatement. Luckily, I pulled it together and the presentation went fine, and that morning is a metaphor for these kinda-sorta-if-you-squint red velvet brownies.
I love using natural food dyes, and Melissa’s sent me a generous shipment of beautiful, soft and flavorful steamed baby beets, so these brownies were just crying out to be made red velvet. Using beets as an excellent source of natural, unprocessed sweetness and chemical-free food coloring, red velvet brownies seemed like a breeze. But the first, er, several tries yielded unappetizingly red lumps of faintly-chocolate-flavored mush. But red velvet typically contains just the faintest whisper of cocoa, and I wanted a darker chocolate flavor. So, I relented, ditched my plans for red velvet – much like my plans for a good breakfast and a sufficiently-caffeinated bloodstream on Tuesday morning, if we want to beat this metaphor thoroughly to death – and tweaked.
Either way, though, these brownies are not to be missed. I lost count of the number of people who ate these, loved them, and had no idea that they contain no flour or sugar, and tons of root vegetables. I am not proud of this deception (ok, who am I kidding, I totally am. And I never lied, just didn’t offer up some info…really, your honor! I’m innocent! Anyway.) and no one had any problem with the beets after they had tried the brownies. What about you: Does the idea of adding vegetables to your brownies sound horrifying, or a little too close to Jessica Seinfeld for comfort? Pssh, I didn’t think so. Jessica Seinfeld is so 10 years ago, but these brownies are timeless.