by Jess Greatwich – Barossa Farmers Market Manager December 2012 to September 2014
There is the most beautiful abundance of beetroot at the Barossa Farmers Markets in winter. Everything from the dark, broody Bulls Bloody to the beautiful heirloom varieties with their marbled stripes and patterns.
Mostly I just roast them up with some olive oil and verjuice (just a splash, right at the end makes all the difference) but frankly, there’s only so much roasted beetroot a girl can eat. So I poked around on line and found this great recipe for Chocolate Beetroot Cake.
Now, full disclosure: I’m not much of a baker, given as I am to whim and fancy, but this was super easy and – yes, I’ll say it – the best cake I’ve ever made! Absolutely delicious, moist and full of earthy, chocoloately flavour. It was just as perfect the next day.
I used striped, heirloom beetroot so I was worried that the colour wouldn’t be as dark and rich but that wasn’t a problem at all. It was a lovely intense chocolate brown colour so I can only imagine if I’d used a darker coloured variety!
So, without further ado, I present: Chocolate and Beetroot Cake.
- 85 grams dark chocolate
- 3 medium eggs
- 300 grams sugar (I used brown which added to the richness, I think)
- 240 ml olive oil
- 300 grams cooked beetroots, mashed but leaving a little texture (just boil halved beetroot for around 30 mins and rinse under cold water. The skins will just rub right off.)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1tbsp vanilla essence)
- 30 grams cocoa powder
- 200 grams plain flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (or gluten free baking powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Grease and flour a 22cm cake tin.
- Melt the chocolate (85grams) over a double boiler (or place the chopped chocolate in a bowl, cover with cling film and microwave on low for approximately 1 minute until chocolate has just melted. When you remove from the microwave, stir quickly to melt any pieces that are still solid).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil.
- Slowly add the cooked beet puree , the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture.
- Beat just until combined. Don’t over work it.
- Sift the cocoa. Add this and the almond meal (or plain flour), baking powder and salt to the beet batter.
- Fold just until everything is combined. Don’t over mix the batter.
- Bake for approximately 50 minutes. NOTE: my cake took an hour and a half but that might be due to my less than spectacular oven – just keep an eye on it. Test with a skewer for done-ness.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan.
For icing, I used the recipe’s recommended combo of equal parts soft Philly cheese and whipped cream with a bit of icing sugar for sweetness. I grated some of the remaining dark chocolate over the top and voila! Afternoon tea is served.