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beetroot

In Cake, Recipe on
November 30, 2016

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve only posted one cake recipe the whole year, so seeing as we are heading towards the end of the year, I thought it’d only be fitting that I start posting a couple more!

It’s not that I haven’t been baking at all, it’s just that it hasn’t been very often and not often successful. Surely no one wants to the cakes I burnt from when I accidentally turned the oven on to the ‘grill’ function instead of ‘bake’. I’m not even joking- it’s happened three times this year!

I tend to experiment quite a bit in the kitchen, and I love trying new recipes, new techniques, new ingredients etc etc. And because of the sheer volume of recipes I’ve bookmarked to try, I don’t tend to go back to recipes unless they’re really special and even then, it’s not often that I will reuse recipes. As a result, recipes that have been a hit in the family do get forgotten over time, and it’s not until I’m re-reading some of my older posts that I remember how good that particular recipe tasted.

This chocolate beetroot cake is one of the few that we’ve never forgotten as I have made over and over again, being my go to chocolate cake recipe. We don’t ever use beetroot in our cooking but we always have a few tins of beetroot in the pantry just for this particular recipe- it is that good!

I won’t blabber on about how good this recipe is- I’ve done it before here and here– but if you haven’t tried it out before, please do. You won’t be disappointed!

I made this particular cake as I had wanted to practice making a chocolate drip- I had attempted it once before and failed so I was determined to make it right this time. Unfortunately, I had left the chocolate glaze to cool a little too much so the drip failed once again, but thankfully not as miserably as last time.

But who cares about a failed drip when the cake tastes amazing? This recipe has never failed me and this time was no exception, although it did dry up after a few days in the fridge.

Next time I make cake, I’ll have to remember to invite a few friends over!

Beetroot Chocolate Cake Recipe
Serves 16
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
For the cake
  1. 190g dark chocolate
  2. 6 medium eggs
  3. 600g sugar
  4. 480ml sunflower or vegetable oil
  5. 600g cooked and pureed beets
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 60g cocoa powder
  8. 400g flour
  9. 3 teaspoons baking soda
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. For the chocolate ganache
  12. 500g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  13. 500ml heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 f/180 C
  2. Melt the chocolate (for the cake) over a double boiler. 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.
  3. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the beet batter. Fold just until everything is combined. Don't over work or over mix the batter.
  4. Spread a teaspoon of butter or oil over the surface of 3 x 10 inch cake pans. Sprinkle some flour all over, and tap out the excess. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tins. Bake for about 30 minutes, or till a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the pan and oven you are using.
  5. While the cake is baking, work on the ganache frosting. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan, just till it starts to barely boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk till it forms a smooth sauce. Cool.
  6. When the cake is done, cool it on a wire rack. Meanwhile whip the cooled ganache until light and fluffy.
  7. To assemble the cake, arrange 1 layer on a cake stand or plate and spread 1/4 of the whipped ganache evenly over it. Top with another cake layer and 1/4 of ganache, spreading evenly, then third cake layer. Spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
Adapted from Veggie Belly
Adapted from Veggie Belly
Berry Nutritious https://berrynutritious.com.au/
In Cake, Recipe on
August 25, 2011

A journey through Chocolate Cake

This particular story begins on an ordinary day when a young girl walked into her first Year 8 food technology practical class which, like the rest of the class, she was looking forward to. They were baking chocolate cake today, using a simple melt and mix recipe, and since the lesson was only 50 minutes, the ingredients were already measured and prepared. It couldn’t have been any easier or fool-proof.

By the end of the lesson, the whole room smelt of sugar and chocolate as everyone pulled a beautiful (it a little ordinary) chocolate cake out of their ovens. It was soft, it was chocolatey- it was delicious!

The girl was simply amazed.

What? Wasn’t cake making supposed involve many years of practice and learning? Wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of skill involved? How could she have just made such a delicious cake using such simple ingredients?

So amazed was this little girl that the first thing she did when she went home, was to fumble through her pantry to find the ingredients required for this magical cake and give it a go herself. If she could replicate the recipe at home, it would be perfect as it was her mother’s birthday- it would be the first birthday cake she had ever made for her mother!

After carefully measuring out each ingredient, and following the recipe precisely (and making much of a mess in her kitchen), she eventually managed to prepare the batter and put it in the oven where she waited optimistically for her cake to finish baking. Unfortunately, it did not turn out quite as well as expected…..

(try not to laugh!)

What the girl didn’t realise, was that her (seemingly clever) substitution of Nesquik milk chocolate powder for cocoa powder was not the best idea, contributing to only the slightest chocolate flavour in the cake. That, and perhaps some over mixing of the batter, resulted in a strange looking cake with an even stranger texture and flavour which was barely edible.

Oh well…it’s the thought that counts right? 😉

Not completely disheartened at her unexpected failure, she bought a box of cocoa powder on her next supermarket trip and attempt number 2 and 3 followed a few weeks later. But still no successes. The cake was never sweet, nor chocolaty enough (perhaps the fault of the recipe) and of course, the girl was not quite daring enough to change the amount of sugar or cocoa powder in the recipe.

Taking the easy way out, she decided to start with box mixes instead, and not surprisingly managed to create a few, tasty cake-looking cakes out of them.

Convinced she had gained some experience, knowledge and perhaps skill in the kitchen, she decided to tackle the chocolate cake again- this time with a new recipe, from the back of the cocoa box. The recipe itself was simple- another melt and mix recipe quite similar to the one she had been using from school. Expecting a failure once again, you could imagine her surprise when out of the oven popped a beautiful looking chocolate cake!

one of the later attempts at this recipe (the first one wasn’t that pretty…)

It was from that moment that she was hooked onto baking. There was something indescribably satisfying about successfully creating a cake from scratch that lured her back into the kitchen time and time again. She started to find herself flicking through cookbooks, as this interest slowly spread from cakes, to cookies, to desserts, and eventually to food in general.

One day, she started a food blog….and the rest is history 😉

* * * *

It’s my blog’s 2nd birthday (two days ago actually), and I thought it would be a little fitting to look back to where it all started and see how far I’ve come. I started this blog when things were sort of going downhill- I’d been met with countless failures and decided that it would be nice to begin documenting everything, hoping that it would also force me to put more effort into ensuring successes- or at least try to make my bakes look a little better.

Whilst that goal has pretty much been achieved, what I hadn’t quite considered was that this blog would, in turn, motivate me to bake more, try out new recipes/techniques and fuel my interest in food in general. Nor did I think that I would love blogging so much (afterall, I’ve always hated writing!) and spend so much time reading many other inspirational food blogs.

A celebration cannot pass without cake, and whilst this chocolate beetroot cake I present you with today may not be quite as exciting as perhaps some complicated dessert I could have made, it does go to show much I’ve changed since I first set foot in the kitchen, when you compare this cake, with the ones I made when I first started baking.

Oh, and it tastes absolutely amazing.

The recipe comes from Sala at Veggie belly. She says on her blog, that after she tried this recipe, she threw out all her other chocolate cake recipes!! If that’s not enough to get you wanting to try this recipe, I don’t know what is! The combination of chocolate and beetroot is quite interesting- I love that the chocolate flavour in cakes is so strong and tasty that it can cover up almost anything, like mistakes (which is probably why the first thing we baked in food tech class was chocolate cake) or, in this case, most of the beetroot flavour. The beetroot is completely unnoticeable- it sort of melts into the cake, giving the most amazing moist texture, and gives it a slight hint of its own unique sweetness.

Now, I’m not usually a beetroot fan. Infact, I’m usually one of those who scream ‘yuk!’ at the sight of beetroot, perhaps because of the fact that no-one in my family likes it and as such, this was the first time we’ve had beetroot in our kitchen. I would have liked to surprise my family with the fact that there was beetroot in the cake, the way you’re supposed to with these kind of cakes, but that wasn’t the easiest job, considering I had red stained hands after peeling the beetroot and a whole pot of beetroot left over after baking the cake.

Nevertheless, they received their surprise- it was definitely a lot tastier than anyone expected and had me planning on making a second one almost instantly. It’s one of the most exciting recipes I’ve come across for a while!

Beetroot Chocolate Cake Recipe

from Veggie Belly
Original Recipe from Ross Burden
serves about 8

for the cake
85g dark chocolate
3 medium eggs
300g sugar
240ml sunflower or vegetable oil
300g cooked and pureed beets
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
30g cocoa powder
200g flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

for the chocolate ganache
250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
250ml heavy cream

1. Pre heat oven to 350 f.
2. Melt the chocolate (for the cake) over a double boiler. 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 untill combined.
3. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the beet batter. Fold just untill everything is combined. Dont over work or over mix the batter.
4. Spread a teaspoon of butter or oil over the surface of a 10 inch cake pan. Sprinkle some flour all over, and tap out the excess. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 30 minutes, or till a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the pan and oven you are using.
5. While the cake is baking, work on the ganache frosting. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a sauce pan, just till it starts to barely boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk till it forms a smooth sauce.
6. When the cake is done, cool it on a wire rack. Then pour the chocolate ganache over while the ganache is still warm. Let the ganache topping cool and set a little before serving.