Last year when I made Pip's un-beet-able chocolate cake, I shared most of the spoils around at work. In return one of my colleagues (another Michael!) was kind enough to share his favourite chocolate-beetroot cake recipe with me. I thought of it when beetroots turned up in our vege box and tried it out on a Saturday afternoon.
This cake's ingredient list is dominated by equal weights of beetroot, chocolate and sugar. There's a bunch of other stuff involved too, and those bits aren't vegan or gluten-free, but the core ingredients have me thinking this wouldn't be too difficult to adapt for special diets. As the name and feature ingredients hint at, this is a dense and fudgy cake. Having reduced the original quantities to suit the beetroots I had and baked it in a square tin, this bore a striking resemblance to a brownie - a brownie that's the perfect balance of cakey and fudgy.
I served this with a little vanilla icecream, and we had some smashing beetroot brownie sundaes.
Beetroot chocolate fudge cake
(adapted slightly from a recipe shared by my colleague Michael)
170g raw beetroot
170g dark chocolate
170g brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 teaspoons maple syrup
2-3 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup plain flour
1/6 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/6 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
35g ground almonds
1/4 cup strong black coffee
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
Preheat an oven to 160ºC. Paper-line and lightly grease a 22cm square cake tin.
Peel and finely grate the beetroot; set it aside. Gently melt the chocolate and set it aside to cool.
In a medium-large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, maple syrup and honey until fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa, fold in the ground almonds and stir until just combined. Stir through the beetroot, melted chocolate, coffee and oil.
When the batter is homogeneous, pour it into the cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes. If the top is starting to brown, cover it with foil and bake for another 30 minutes or more, until it just passes the skewer test. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.