Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Chocolate beetroot cake
Yup, you read right. A cake with beetroot. And let me tell you, it is awesome! You can’t taste the beetroot at all, but what it does is make the cake so moist, a bit like a brownie cake. Try it – I promise you’ll love it!

(Recipe from Backen mit Gemuese by Parragon Books Limited. I have slightly adapted the recipe.) The original recipe used 200g brown sugar, but I didn’t have any so used white sugar and I also reduced the amount of sugar to 150g, but feel free to stick to the original. We all thought it was sweet enough, even those with a sweet tooth.

The recipe calls for coconut oil and this certainly gives the cake a coconutty flavour. I’m sure you could use vegetable oil instead, but you would lose the coconut flavour.

The original recipe called for beetroot powder (which I have never even heard of) to be mixed with water and added to the sugar to form a glaze. I used precooked beetroot and there was exactly 2 ½ tsps. of red juice to add to the sugar. Just use some of the packet juice or cooking liquid as it’s all about colour here, not flavour.

INGREDIENTS:
500g beetroot (or 1 packet precooked beetroot)
200g Spelt flour (but use plain flour if you want to)
6 level tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder (or 1 pkt)
100-200g sugar (see above)
100g dark chocolate, 85% cocoa content, break into pieces
3 eggs
200g coconut oil (see above)
CHOCOLATE GLAZE
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. milk
75g dark chocolate (85% cocoa), in pieces
75g butter
BEETROOT GLAZE
100-120g caster sugar (powdered/fine sugar)
2-2 ½ tbsp. beetroot water (OR same quantity water & 1 tsp beetroot powder) (see above)

METHOD:
1. If you are not using precooked beetroot, cook the beetroot. There are several ways to do this: a) Peel it, cube it and steam/boil it till tender about 30 minutes. Or (b) microwave for 10 minutes (I haven’t tried this but the cookbook says to do so). (c) Pressure cook for 15 minutes. (d) Bake in the oven wrapped in foil for an hour. Whatever you do, try and save 2 tbsp. of juice/cooking liquid for the glaze.
2. Puree the beetroot in a blender, scraping down the sides. I chopped up the precooked beetroot quite small and then used a mixer wand to puree it.
3. Preheat the oven to 160C. Line the base of a 24-26cm spring form with baking paper and grease it.
4. Sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa 2 times into a bowl. (I must admit that I didn’t bother with this step and my cake was just fine…you decide!). Mix in the sugar.
5. Melt the chocolate in a separate heat resistant bowl or pan over simmering water.
6. Using either a mixer or elbow grease (my choice), add the eggs to the pureed beetroot one at a time, and then add the oil. Mix in to the flour mix, followed by the melted chocolate.
7. Put the mixture into the prepared form and bake for 50-60 minutes. Cover with tinfoil if the top starts to get too brown. Remove, let it cool in the form for 10 minutes and then remove. Cool completely before icing.
8. CHOCOLATE ICING/GLAZE: Mix all glaze ingredients together in a pot over low heat. When melted, pour over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Allow to cool and then pipe on the red glaze.
9. BEETROOT GLAZE: Mix all together and put into a plastic bag or piping bag. It made a lot of glaze – next time I would only make half. Snip the corner off the plastic bag and pipe lines over the cake.
And that’s it! It may look like a lot of work, but it was really simple and the cake was superb. The recipe says for 10-12 people, but could easily do more as a little slice goes a long way! Enjoy!

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