Friday, December 08, 2006

Let them eat cake!


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My neighbour suggested making a cake and I was instantly led astray. It was only a matter of time before the GreatBigVegChallenge became the GreatBigCakeChallenge. And dark chocolate and beetroot were clearly meant to be together. I looked at tens of carrot cake recipes. My first version was far too dry. I went back into the kitchen and promised Freddie and Alexandra the most delicious cake ever. I baked it in a heart-shaped silicon case that I had brought back from New York.
And this is the recipe that won the day. The texture of the cake is a little like carrot cake. The cake-mix is a stunning bright pink and after cooking it becomes a rather beautiful chocolately-mauve colour. You can really see bright flecks of pink, taste the beetroot combined with the chocolate which of course lured Freddie into a false sense of security. Freddie embraced beetroot like a long-lost friend. His score nine out of ten.
So now he boasts that he eats beetroot. I doubt whether he remains so keen when we try out the beetroot risotto next...Is cake really a cop out?

Beetroot and Chocolate Cake
375g caster sugar
250g butter
4 eggs
250g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
450g finely grated raw beetroot
100g grated dark chocolate, high cocoa content
2 heaped tbsp of cocoa powder
Half a tbsp vanilla essence

Equipment needed - 23cm cake tin.

Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a bowl mix together the softened butter and caster sugar until it becomes lighter and paler in colour. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the cake mix little by little, mixing it in. Sift the flour and bicarb of soda and cocoa powder into the cake batter and stir well in. Cut the stalks off the beetroot and peel them. Finely grate them and add the grated beetroot to the cake mix. Add the grated chocolate and stir well. Add half a tbsp of vanilla essence. Pour cake batter into a greased cake tin. This cake takes from about 50 minutes to 65 minutes to bake, depending on your oven and the depth of the cake tin. Check whether it is ready by carefully piercing the cake with a skewer. It should come out relatively clean. If you are still seeing pink batter on the skewer, it needs more cooking. Allow to cool.
In a preheated oven at 180C


  1. What an evocative photo! Really beautiful. I really love this recipe too and I'm stoked that we got beetroot in out vege box again. I think it's time for another cake!

    I don't think you'll have too much trouble with the risotto. I mean, the colour alone should be tempting enough!

  2. What a novel idea! If I ever get round to trying some baking this will be high up on my list.

    I used to love beetroot when I was a kid, just because it was sweeter than a lot of other veg and the pretty colour helped a lot too.

    Now, if you get him to eat chicory when the time comes I'll be really impressed!

  3. Anonymous6:48 AM

    I'll get him to eat chicory if you can provide a convincing recipe!

  4. Christina10:38 PM

    This was a great success with friends and family when I made it but was a pain grating the beetroot and my fingers were pink for a day or two! Was good served with a lemon cream I made.


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