Chocolate beetroot cake

A little while back I saw a facebook status about a beetroot cake and I was instantly intrigued… it’s been on the back of my mind for a while, and I finally got around to trying one. I looked for a few recipes online and decided on this one by Nigel Slater on the BBC website.

It was the kind of cake that took quite a few dishes, but it was worth the effort. I made it for our playgroup this week.

I mean seriously, combining dark chocolate and beetroot, two of my favourite things?????? So cool. The beetroot makes it quite earthy, and so moist.

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This recipe is taken directly from the the BBC website:

Ingredients

  • 200g/7oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g/9oz cooked and peeled beetroot (I boiled 2 – I have no idea how much they weighed)
  • 200g/7oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 4 tbsp hot espresso
  • 135g/5oz plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 5 free-range eggs, separated
  • 190g/6½oz golden caster sugar (I substituted this with brown sugar)
  • crème fraîche or double cream, to serve

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in cake tin with a little butter and line the bottom of the tin with a disc of baking parchment.
  2. Blend the beetroot in a food processor to a rough purée.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of hot water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water), then pour in the hot coffee.
  4. Stir in the butter in small pieces and leave to soften. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa together in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Separate the eggs. Whisk the yolks in a bowl until frothy. Stir the eggs into the chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in the beetroot.
  7. Whisk the egg whites until still peaks form when the whisk is removed. Fold in the sugar.
  8. Fold the sugar and egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour and cocoa mixture.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool in the tin, then serve with crème fraîche or double cream.
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My comfort foods

Having just been back to Aus for a holiday, I spent approximately 3 weeks eating and drinking my way through my most-missed foods.

1. Amazing coffee.

This cafe in North Carlton, Melbourne, has the most amazing coffee. And incredible vegetarian food. You can just pick a size of plate and fill it! The best way to eat.

2. Burgers.

Man, Aussie’s make good burgers. This was an especially good one. From ‘The Galleon Cafe’ at St. Kilda. My favourite part was the flying pickle.

3. Potato on a stick.

This is not an old favourite, but a new one. We ran into these delicious snacks in a few places. This one was at the Queen Vic Markets. Mine was pepper flavour. I think it may be Korean. It’s a whole potato on a stick – so if you get a big one (like me) you are particularly lucky!

4. Chicken schnitty.

Nothing in the world could be better than a mouth full of chicken, chips, tomato and cheese all at once. This one’s from The Oriental, Adelaide.

5. Fish & Chips.

No actual picture, but my favourite place is the Grange fish & chip shop in Adelaide. Go there. Grab a seafood pack, a lemonade and a golden gaytime. Then, proceed to the beach with your beachtowel.

6. Lebanese food.

Quiet Waters on Hindley St. I recommend the banquet. Delicious.

7. Platters & Wine

An amazing food platter from Pindarie winery, Barossa Valley. Fish, olives, goat curd, dips, capers and more. It was so inspiring that I think I replicated it again at least twice before the end of the trip. Plus a chickpea pie. My favourite wine was the 2010 Savagnin, ‘La Femme’.

We also visited Willows winery – the sparkling burgandy was exceptional and the cab sav also yummy.

8. More wine.

The family drop. One of many bottles consumed.