Sometimes there is nothing I enjoy more than visiting friends and baking with them. I know I can always rely on one such friend, Linda, to have a baking cupboard stocked as well as mine - with the necessities, such as four types of flour, and luxuries, such as glitter sprinkles.
So, this weekend we took to the kitchen, in Linda's Glasgow flat, and prepared a Chocolate and Beetroot cake - which I have never attempted before! And what a treat it was! Few ingredients, simple to make and delicious with creme fraiche.... I highly recommend it.
We found the recipe online, and after tasting I have adapted it slightly. Enjoy!
1 oz cocoa powder
4 and 1/2 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of Salt
6 oz caster sugar
8 floz. of corn or vegetable Oil
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 free-range eggs lightly beaten
9 oz cooked beetroot, pureed (cook from fresh if possible - if not, buy pre-cooked in 'natural juices')
4 oz plain dark chocolate (no more than 70% Cocoa Solids)
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 (190C).
Line the base of a 7" loose base cake tin and grease the sides.
Into one bowl, sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and stir together lightly.
In another bowl mix together the pureed beetroot, oil and vanilla essence. Add the eggs into this mixture, a little at a time, folding between additions to blend the mixture together. By the same method, of a little at a time, add the dry ingredients from the other bowl, folding between additions to bring it all together. You should have a dark red, velvety looking mixture, thick and glossy...
Chop up the dark chocolate into small pieces and stir them into the mixture. Don't worry about the exact size of the chocolate pieces as they will completely melt into the mixture once in the oven.
Pour the mixture into the lined tin and then pop it onto the middle shelf of the oven. After 45 minutes, check to see if it is cooked through, by inserted a skewer into the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean then the mixture is done. If the skewer is wet, or if the cake wobbles as you remove it from the oven, place it back in for another 5-10 minutes.
Allow to cool for around 20 mins in the tin before sliding it out and placing it on whichever piece of crockery you think it best suites - I would recommend something pink or red. Best served warm with cream or creme fraiche, however, also lovely with a cup of tea of an afternoon.