Five years ago, I came across a strange combination at an organic cafe that caught my eye. It was a Beetroot and Chocolate cake. I was intrigued and had to sink my teeth into a slice. I am so glad I did, as it was one of the most heavenly delights I had ever tried. The combination of sweet earthy beetroots with the familiar taste of chocolate was just heavenly. I returned a week later to find that it was no longer on the menu (unfortunately not enough patrons had crazy or adventurous taste buds like me). I searched online and tried several recipes to try to replicate the creation although they never quite hit the mark.
So, I came up with my very own. And here it is, for your crazy and adventurous taste buds to delight in.
With the addition of nuts (ground almonds) and beetroots, this is a healthier cake than your average chocolate cake.
Packed full of fibre, vitamin E, and antioxidants, it can also be adjusted to be gluten-free very easily. It does contain sugar and fat, although we have used olive oil (a heart healthy oil) as a substitute for butter.
- 85 grams dark chocolate
- 3 medium eggs
- 2 cups coconut sugar, or rapidura sugar which are both low GI sugars. Or you can simply use brown sugar
- 1 cup olive oil or melted butter
- 300 grams cooked beetroots (see method below for how to cook the beets)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1tbsp vanilla essence)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 200 grams almond meal
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (or gluten free baking powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- To cook the beetroots, wash thoroughly and place in a pot full of cold water. Bring pot to the boil and cook the beets until soft when poked with a knife (approx 30 minutes though this depends on the size of the beets).
- When cooked, run the beets under cold water in the sink and rub off the skins.
- Blend or mash the beetroots until slightly smooth but still some ‘chunks’ remaining.
- Reserve the water that you cooked the beetroots in (it will be bright red!) and re-use to cook rice, lentils etc (it will turn rice a lovely fun red colour).
- Melt the chocolate (85grams) over a double boiler (or place the chopped chocolate in a bowl, cover with cling film and microwave on low for approximately 1 minute until chocolate has just melted. When you remove from the microwave, stir quickly to melt any pieces that are still solid).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil.
- Slowly add the cooked beet puree , the melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture.
- Beat just until combined. Don’t over work it.
- Sift the cocoa. Add this and the almond meal (or plain flour), baking powder and salt to the beet batter.
- Fold just until everything is combined. Don’t over mix the batter.
- Spread a teaspoon of butter or oil over the surface of a 10 inch cake pan. Sprinkle some flour all over, and tap out the excess. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin.
- Bake for approximately 50 minutes.
- Cake is ready when a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Baking time may vary depending on the pan and oven you are using.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan.
While the cake is baking, work on the frosting:
Ingredients for the cream cheese icing (optional)
- 1 cup cream/reduced fat cream/light cream
- 1 cup of Cream Cheese/ reduced fat cream cheese such as Philadelphia ‘5% fat’
- ½ cup Icing Sugar or honey
- Plain chocolate bar for chocolate shaving decorations
- Place the cream in a bowl and whip to soft peaks.
- Add the icing sugar and cream cheese and beat until combined (Add more or less sugar until the desired taste).
- You can also use variations of this icing, by adding 1/2 cup cocoa or half a cooked blended beetroot.
- Using a potato peeler, hold the chocolate bar in one hand and use the peeler to shave off curls of chocolate. Sprinkle these on top of the cake to decorate.