Chocolate beetroot cake

March 27 2017

Ingredients for the sponge (one cake serves 12): 

  • 2 medium beetroot, scrubbed with stems trimmed
  • 450ml almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 120g coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350g unbleached plain flour
  • 110g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt

Ingredients for the ganache: 

  • 200g no-added sugar dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 100ml water

For the decoration: 

  • 80g desiccated coconut
  • 120g sunflower seeds
  • 60g whole almonds
  • 2-3 tbsp goji berries

Method for the sponges: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170° fan or gas mark 5).
  2. Wrap the beetroot in foil and place on a baking tray. Roast until tender to the tip of a knife (approx. 1-1.5 hours).
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool before peeling. Dice the flesh and place in a food processor with 2 tbsp water. Purée until smooth, scraping down the sides from time to time.
  4. Spoon 250g of the purée into a bowl and set aside. Cover and chill the remainder for later.
  5. Reduce the oven to 180°C (160° or gas mark 4). Grease and line two 20cm/8" spring-form cake tins with greaseproof paper.
  6. Whisk together the almond milk and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl. Set aside until curdled, about 5 minutes.
  7. To the same bowl add the beetroot purée, sugar, melted coconut oil and the vanilla extract, beating well for 30 seconds.
  8. Fold in the remaining ingredients to make a smooth batter. Divide this between the cake tins, smoothing their tops flat with the back of a damp tablespoon.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes until risen and dry to the touch; a sharp knife should come out virtually clean from their centres. Remove to a wire rack to cool in their tins.
  10. Once cool, turn out and discard the paper.

 Method for the ganache: 

  1. Combine the chocolate and water in a heatproof bowl. Set it over a half-filled saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted and thick.
  2. Remove from the heat and let cool until thickened to a spreading consistency (approx. 10-15 minutes).

Method for decorating: 

  1. Sit one sponge on a cake stand and cover its top with half the ganache. Sit the second sponge on top, pressing down gently to adhere to the ganache.
  2. Spread the top of the cake with an even layer of the remaining ganache. Decorate with the desiccated coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds and goji berries before slicing and serving.