All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. ~ Charles M. Schulz
Every Sunday, my nine year old daughter bakes. She loves to try new recipes.
Meanwhile my garden is full of beetroot ready for harvest. I picked an absolute whopper last week, which was roasted and whipped into a beetroot and yoghurt dip.
So I had an idea.
Chocolate Beetroot Cake.
Initially, Miss Nine was a bit reluctant.
“Won’t the cake taste like….beetroot?”
Truth is, yes. And no.
I explained to her how Beetroot in chocolate cake gives it a delicious earthy compliment to the sweetness of the chocolate. It’s deep colour makes a chocolate cake look all the richer. It’s very beetrootiness makes the cake moist without unpleasant stodginess that can sometimes plague mud cakes.
She was still a bit skeptical. So we decided to perform an experiment.
Make the Chocolate Beetroot Cake, and feed it to her unsuspecting brothers and Dad.
Our hypothesis is, they’ll gobble it down with relish, without even realising that a healthy vegetable lurks inside.
Then, once they have eaten their slice, see if they can guess our secret ingredient.
Here’s the recipe…
Chocolate Beetroot Cake
400g 70% cocoa dark chocolate (2 big blocks)
200g caster sugar
40 ml balsamic vinegar
200g plain flour
150g sour cream
200g of fresh beetroot
I roast the beetroot, whole, unpeeled, wrapped in foil, in a 220°C hot oven. Depending on the size of your beetroot, the cooking time may vary. A quick plunge of a bamboo skewer will determine if it is cooked. If the skewer meets resistance, leave the beetroot to cook a little longer. Once done, leave it wrapped in foil until it is cool enough to handle. Wearing plastic gloves, remove the skin of the beetroot, which should peel away easily. Then grate your beetroot and set aside to cool to room temperature.
If you can manage this step without leaving your kitchen splattered with blood-red juice reminiscent of the shower scene in Psycho, then congratulations. We failed.
Next, melt the chocolate in a pyrex or ceramic bowl in the microwave. I zap for 30 seconds and stir, zap and stir until the chocolate has melted.
Whip the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy and doubled in size, then fold through the cocoa, balsamic vinegar, beetroot and flour.
Fold the sour cream through the molten chocolate, then add to the egg and sugar mix. Fold in gently until all combined.
Pour the batter into a lined cake tin and bake at 180°C for 35-45 minutes.
Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before you take it out of the tin.
200g 70% cocoa dark chocolate
Melt the chocolate using the method described above. Fold the cream into the melted chocolate and set aside to cool. Once your cake has completely cooled, ice the cake with the ganache.
As you can see, we decorated ours with fresh borage flowers and elderflower blossoms. So pretty!
In case it otherwise escaped your attention, this cake has three entire bars of chocolate in it. It’s decadent, not for the faint of heart. A small slice is a safe dose.
Miss Nine served up her masterpiece to her unsuspecting test subjects. Half way through their slices, she asked if they could guess the secret ingredient. No one did, so she confessed.
“The secret ingredient is… BEETROOT!”
Mr Eight, upon realising the beetroot rouse exclaimed,
“I have been fed a cake of lies!”
Yet he begged for another slice.
Mr Six seemed a little chocolate drunk and didn’t appear to hear the word beetroot as he licked the remaining crumbs from his plate.
Husband struggled to finish the larger slice I had served him. Chocolate Beetroot Cake is indeed delicious, but like most good things in life, a little bit can satisfy more comfortably than an over-indulgence.
Luckily, this cake freezes very well. I wrapped and stashed the remaining slices in the freezer for the next time we need a treat.
Which might just be tonight!