Sunday 28 April 2013

Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Candied Beetroot

Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Candied Beetroot
Chocolate & Beetroot is a wonderful combination! The beetroot gives the cake a lovely sweet stickiness as well as plenty of vibrant colour!

Makes 16 slices
Preparation time:  30 minutes
Cooking time:  2 hours

For the cake:
250g chocolate, chopped (minimum 60-70% cocoa solids)
3 eggs
250g light muscovado sugar
4 tbsp clear honey
½ tsp vanilla extract
80g plain flour
50g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
25g cocoa powder
250g raw beetroot, washed, trimmed & finely chopped
50ml strong black coffee
30ml sunflower oil
1 tbsp Chambord
1 tbsp red food colouring

For the chocolate icing:
150g chocolate (minimum 60-70% cocoa solids), chopped
3 tbsp strong black coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp clear honey

For the candied Beetroot decoration;
100g granulated sugar, plus 2 tbsp for coating
100ml water
100g raw beetroot, peeled & grated

Preparation method
1.    Preheat the oven to 170ºC/150°C Fan/335ºF/Gas Mark 3 and line a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
2.    In a bowl melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water, make sure the bowl does not touch the water.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3.    In a large bowl beat the eggs, sugar, honey and vanilla extract using a wooden spoon or electric whisk until light and fluffy.  Fold through the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and cocoa until thoroughly combined.  Stir in the melted chocolate, beetroot, coffee, sunflower oil, Chambord and red colouring.
4.    Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours, cover the cake with foil and bake for a further 30 minutes.
5.    Remove the cake tin from the oven and set aside until cooled slightly and turn out onto a wired rack to cool.
6.    For the chocolate icing, melt the chocolate, coffee, vanilla extract and honey in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring until fully combined and melted.  (Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water).  Remove from the heat and leave to cool and thicken.
7.    In a separate bowl beat the butter until soft and then gradually beat in the icing sugar.  Now add the vanilla extract and fold in the melted chocolate until smooth (add a drizzle of milk if the mixture is too stiff).
8.    For the Candied Beetroot decoration, place the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil, stir to dissolve the sugar.  Add the beetroot and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the beetroot softens then drain and leave to cool slightly.  Coat with the extra sugar and set aside.
9.    To assemble the cake, spoon the icing on the top of the cake easing it down over the sides to cover the whole cake.  Arrange the candied beetroot on the top of the cake to decorate. Enjoy!

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