Reunited with my oven after SIX whole months and baked a cake after what seemed like eternity. And now I can’t stop smiling! It’s like reuniting with an old best friend. Oh god, I’ve missed the whole process so much. Writing recipes in pretty notebooks, the mise en place, licking the batter from the bowl with no shame whatsover, smell of molten chocolate and butter.
I will in no way make the claim for this cake to be healthy just because it has beetroot but I certainly think what makes this cake truly decadent and special is the silky smooth beet puree. I’ve never cooked with beets before except making a hummus with it but boy, this time I peeled the beetroots, chopped them and just stared at the red and white patterns inside, feeling so fascinated. I think I will cook with beets more often just because they are so damn gorgeous.
I suggest you play a “guess-what-is-in-this-cake” game with friends and family when you serve them this cake. There is a high chance they cant get it right.
I was toying with the idea of making a ganache for this cake but it is quite rich and decadent on its own so I went with a simple dusting of icing sugar (my flatmate said icing sugar reminded her of Christmas) and it was perfect.
It is an absolutely marvellous recipe and must try for one of your weekend baking projects (dear David Lebovitz and Nigel Slater, I love you!).
Recipe (from David Lebovitz’s blog)
240g beetroot (boiled and pureed with a pinch of salt)
200g dark chocolate (I used Morde dark compound)
60ml espresso (or boiling water)
200g caster sugar
200g unsalted butter
3 tbsps dark cocoa powder
135g all purpose flour
5 eggs separated
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
Boil the beets for about 40 mins till tender and puree them. In a bowl melt the chocolate and add the espresso, whisk well and add small pieces of butter and just press the butter chunks into molten chocolate without stirring. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cocoa and baking powder and keep aside.
Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Fold in the caster sugar carefully into egg whites with a spatula. Add the yolks into the chocolate and butter mixture and mix in the pureed beets.
Fold the egg white and sugar mixture carefully with the chocolate mixture and add the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Pour the batter in a prepared tin.
Pre-heat the oven at 180 deg C but reduce temperature to 160 deg C while baking. Bake for 50-55 mins making sure the cake is not overcooked and there are crumbs on the toothpick (I literally dug 500 holes into my cake in this process but dont be like me).
Cool the cake completely and serve with a dusting of snowy powdered sugar.