Chefs' Recipes

Three Blue Ducks' beetroot and chocolate with burnt orange

Australian Gourmet Traveller chef's recipe for beetroot and chocolate with burnt orange

By Darren Robertson & Mark LaBrooy
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 1 hr 20 mins cooking plus chilling, freezing, cooling
  • Serves 6 - 8
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Beetroot and chocolate with burnt orange
"This dish was created using staples we always have in our kitchen, like chocolate ganache and brownie," says Robertson. "It may seem like a lot of work to make them at home, but I can assure you it's worth it in the end. The recipe will make more brownie than you need, but it won't go to waste. If you don't want to make the brownie you could crush up some shop-bought chocolate cookies instead."


  • Bee pollen and red vein sorrel (optional), to serve
Beetroot ice-cream
  • 1 litre beetroot juice (see note) (4 cups)
  • 500 ml pouring cream (2 cups)
  • 500 ml milk (2 cups)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 200 gm caster sugar
Chocolate brownie
  • 250 gm butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 750 gm dark chocolate, (66% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 165 gm caster sugar
  • 180 gm plain flour
  • 2 handfuls walnuts
Chocolate ganache
  • 300 gm dark chocolate, (66% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 150 ml pouring cream
  • 1 tsp liquid glucose
Burnt orange
  • 2 oranges, skin on, diced and seeds discarded
  • 80 gm caster sugar (1/3 cup)
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
Goji sherbet
  • 60 gm goji berries, dehydrated in a low oven (see note)
  • 1 heaped tsp citric acid
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda


  • 1
    For beetroot ice-cream, boil beetroot juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 200ml (10-12 minutes). Set aside to cool. Bring cream, milk and vanilla bean and seeds to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale(5-6 minutes). Whisk in beetroot reduction, then
    pour in cream mixture, whisking continuously. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and stir continuously until thick (7-8 minutes). Refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop, then churn in an ice-cream machine and freeze until required. Makes about 1½ litres.
  • 2
    For chocolate brownie, preheat oven to 160C, and butter and line a 25cm-square cake tin with baking paper. Melt butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Whisk eggs and sugar an electric mixer until thick and pale. Pour in chocolate mixture and fold to combine, fold in the flour and a pinch of salt, then fold in walnuts. Pour into prepared tin and bake until a skewer withdraws clean (40-45 minutes). Cool, then tear a quarter of the brownie and crumble into little pieces. Remaining brownie will keep stored in an airtight container for a week.
  • 3
    For ganache, combine ingredients in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir occasionally until smooth and well combined (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a container, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until required. Bring out of the fridge to soften slightly before serving.
  • 4
    For burnt orange, heat a heavy-based frying pan over high heat until very hot. Toss the orange in and let it burn and colour – not for too long, but you want to see some blackening (1-2 minutes). Scatter the sugar and cinnamon over the orange and a quick caramelisation should occur. Transfer to the food processor, give it a whizz until coarse crumbs form and set aside.
  • 5
    For goji sherbet, whizz ingredients in a small dry food processor to fine crumbs – make sure the goji berries are completely dried or the mixture will become sticky and ball up. Store in a dry airtight container.
  • 6
    To serve, place a heaped tablespoonful of ganache in the base of each bowl and smear it around a little, then place a spoonful of burnt orange in each bowl. Sprinkle in brownie crumb, then goji sherbet, as well as bee pollen if you're using it. Scoop beetroot ice-cream on top, scatter with sorrel leaves and serve straight away.


Note If you don't have a juicer, buy beetroot juice from a juice bar or greengrocer. Goji berries are available from health-food shops and the health-food section of select supermarkets.
Drink Suggestion: Bold young vintage Port. Drink suggestion by Max Allen