The beetroot that fooled

A controversial topic amongst many, do vegetables really have a place in cakes? YES, they most certainly do. It’s no small secret that I am a keen follower in the practice of adding vegetables to cakes. Many varieties of sweet potato cake, pumpkin muffins & parsnip cake  have seen my kitchen. Vegetables are an ingredient not to be overlooked & simply resigned to a sunday dinner. They add a moist squidge that is unreservedly pleasing.

That brings me to red velvet cake. As a lover of beetroot, unashamedly eating half a jar of the pickled pink stuff with most salads (my plate becoming a pink sea in which lettuce leaves & cucumber have no choice but to succumb to its inevitable pink hue), I am more than happy to add it to cakes & brownies. The pairing of dark chocolate’s bitterness with the sweet tang of beetroot is an odd one but it is one that works oh so well.

This cake holds a very special place for me. It was my first venture into vegetable cakes & I instantly fell in love with its brownie like nature. I will never forget the first time I brought this into work for my curious colleagues, after being nagged by a fellow food-lover for weeks (who later requested the recipe). Unbeknownst to them, I merely refered to it’s given name of red velvet cake, failing to mention one very purple ingredient. Like me, they all instantly fell in love with it, even after discovering what it was that they were devouring so rapidly. I converted two beetroot cynics that day. “Jawgasm” is still, unashamedly, my most cherished review. Following it’s pleasing success, I was requested to make another by a colleague for his chocolate loving father’s birthday. That was the beginning of my making cakes for order (& forever being known as the cake lady) so I am eternally grateful to the red velvet.

DSC00107



RED VELVET CAKE
(makes a 3 layered 18cm cake)

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1tbs cocoa powder
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 egg
  • 100g yogurt
  • 200g ready cooked beetroot
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 2 tsp red food colouring

To fill & cover:

  • 400g full fat cream cheese
  • 2 tsb vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar (adjust to your sweetness preference)
  • 2tbs cornflour (or more if it still needs a little thickening. Some may call it cheating but I swear by it when making cream cheese frosting)

Method:

  • melt together the butter & dark chocolate
  • in a blender, blitz together the beetroot, egg & yogurt until it resembles a smoothie
  • in a large bowl, combine the flour, caster sugar, cocoa & bicarbonate of soda
  • make a well in the centre & add in the beetroot mixture, the chocolate mixture & the boiling water
  • whisk it all together until smooth & lump free
  • divide the mixture between 3 greased & lined 18cm sandwich tins
  • bake in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes
  • cool in the tins for 10 mins
  • when the cakes are completely cool, sandwich together & cover using the frosting

       (to decorate, I like to simply sprinkle some grated dark chocolate or dust some cocoa powder             around the edge of the cake)


You can also bake this cake:

  • in x2 20cm sandwich tins:  bake the cakes for 40 minutes
  • as a bundt cake (because all cakes benefit from coming in bundt form):   bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes

 

whisk


 

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