I’ve been meaning to try my hand at this cake for a while, but I had only been able to find a handful of recipes, and they never really appealed to me. So, I threw caution to the wind, and decided to make up a recipe myself. This is the first time I’ve ever mucked around making a cake. I was a little nervous as I always try to follow cake recipes to the T. I’d heard horrible stories of cakes bubbling away in the oven like soup, never setting, or being as hard as Hagrid’s Rock Cakes. To my surprise, it turned out to be a lovely cake! Crunchy almost on the outside, and beautifully moist. The beets give it a beautiful purple colour, and add lots of moisture. Most of all, they give the cake an amazing earthiness. It’s recipes like this that remind me that we are connected to the earth through the things we eat. Beets are fantastic for your health too, they are low in calories, are very low on the Glycemic Index. They also contain soluble fibre.
I have used Almond Meal in this recipe. I make my own Almond Meal by pulsing whole almonds (with the skin on) with a stick blender. This is the cheapest way to get almond meal, as you can buy whole almonds for about $10kg, whereas the meal can be $5 for 50g! If you want them with the skin off, you can blanch them in boiling water for about a minute or two, then put them into a ziplock bag for 10 minutes. Then, while they are still in the bag, squeeze them and the kernel will pop out of the skin. It’s lots of fun!
In this photo, I served it with an icing made of yoghourt and icing sugar that had chopped beets soaking in it. It looks cool, but I don’t recommend it, it was a little icky tasting. I’d serve it with Chocolate icing, or vanilla icecream.
Don’t worry about getting the beetroot stain on your hands, most of it washes off straight away, and unless you have a hand-modeling job to get to the next day, it’s really not a problem. And it’s so much fun, it takes me right back to my childhood, playing with poster paint and squelchy mud!
300g Finely Grated Fresh Beetroot
1/4 cup Cocoa
160g Plain Flour
1 1/2tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup Caster Sugar
1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
35g Dark Chocolate, melted
50ml Olive Oil
60g Almond Meal
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, grease and lightly flour a cake tin (I used a Kugelhopf tin… I love it!)
2. Sift all the dry ingredients into one bowl
3. Add the Beetroot, Oil,chocolate, and eggs and mix to combine
4. Pour into the cake tin, and place in oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until it springs back when touched AND when a skewer is inserted into the middle, it comes out clean.
5. Rest on bench for 10 minutes in tin, then invert onto a cooling rack.