Sunday, 1 September 2013

Chocolate Beetroot Cake.

Did you know beetroot is practically magic. There are trillions of studies all about it, saying how it makes you stronger and speedier and how it makes hard things like running up hills feel less hard. Runner's World are allllways going on about it.

I think if you're, like, a proper mentalist fitty, you're supposed to do shots of the juice at exactly 18 minutes 37 seconds before you run or something...but I think that's only because most people haven't heard that it goes bloomin' great in chocolate cake. 

And that's not in a 'let's take all the goodness out of this cake because I couldn't possibly let gluten/dairy/anything actually tasty past my lips', it is just a really brilliant addition in that it adds unbeatable moistness and something a bit earthy in flavour. Fear not, there is still pleeeenty of butter and sugar and good stuff to keep you going.

So I hope for your sake that you have a Nana and Grandad that grown squillions of fruit and veggies and ring you especially to check what you might want and that you have parents that drive 500 miles to see you and deliver the could always go to a supermarket I suppose but that just doesn't seem like it would be as much fun. With Love and Cake.

Chocolate Beetroot Cake.
A Nigel Slater recipe

A few notes:
  • To cook beetroot, just chuck it in a pan of cold water, bring it to the boil and boil away until tender when you insert a knife...timings are a bit useless because beetroot vary so much in size, especially if you're using home grown stuff, but check first after 20 minutes and then every 10 minutes after that. Once cooled enough to handle the skin will rub off easily with gloved hands or a knife. 
  • You could indeed use the ready cooked stuff that comes vacuum packed in its own juice...just please oh please make sure you don't get confused and buy the pickled stuff.
  • If you don't have a food processor, you could grate the cooked beetroot finely with just an ordinary cheese grater.

You will need

1 x 20cm loose bottomed cake tinned, greased and base lined

200g dark chocolate
4 tbsp hot espresso
200g butter
135g plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa
5 eggs, separated
190g caster sugar
250g beetroot, cooked and peeled and blended to a paste in a food processor

  • Preheat your oven to 180˚c.
  • Break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of just-simmering water without letting the bowl and water touch.
  • Leave to melt slowly before stirring in the coffee and butter.
  • Remove from the heat and allow the butter to slowly melt, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, mix together the flour, baking powder and cocoa and set aside.
  • In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. 
  • Fold the sugar into the egg whites and set them aside too.
  • Now beat the egg yolks in a fairly large bowl until frothy.
  • Stir the beetroot into the yolks, followed by the chocolate mixture.
  • Fold in the egg whites and finally sift over the flour mixture and fold that in too.
  • Pour the batter into your cake tin and bake for about 45 minutes, until the cake is firm and skewer comes out clean....I would have a check after 35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin before turning out and serving with whipped or pouring cream.

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