BEETROOT CAKE


A sudden surplus of beetroot led to this delight. Like carrot cake, but deeper.


Ingredients:

3 Large Eggs

240g Dark Muscovado Sugar

50g Caster Sugar

Vanilla of half a vanilla pod

200ml Rice Bran Oil

100g Pureed Pineapple

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3 Beetroot, peeled and grated


250g all purpose flour

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

A couple grinds of salt

1 Teaspoon ground cinammon

1/2 a nutmeg, grated

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

Butter for greasing the tin


For the Frosting

300g Cream Cheese

Juice of One Lemon

1/4 cup Caster Sugar

1 Beetroot Peeled and Grated

Blueberries

Walnuts or Hazlenuts

(cornflour for frosting emergency)

Optional rose petals for floral note.


Method

Preheat the oven to 165°C.

Get out two bowls. In the first bowl, beat the eggs and sugars together until there are no clumps left. Add the oil, pineapple and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Fold in the beetroot and walnuts until well blended. The mixture should take on a deep red colour.


In the other bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinammon, nutmeg, clove. Pour the dry into the wet and fold it together. It should have a thick, but wet mixture that settles flat in the bowl.


Grease a baking tin - your mileage and cooking time will vary based on your tin. I used a 9 inch diameter baking tin. I also cut a circle of baking paper out and butter that up too, and line the bottom of the tin for guaranteed non-stick. Pour the mixture in the tin in the middle of the oven, and cook for about an hour. Have a skewer ready to check. If it's not done after an hour, give it another fifteen minutes. Remember if your tin is a wider diameter, its likely to bake quicker - so check it at the 45 minute mark.


For the frosting: In a small saucepan, pour in the 1/4 cup of caster sugar and lemon juice. Turn the heat to medium and form it into a light syrup. Add the beetroot to the hot syrup and mix in well. The beetroot juice will bleed out and create deep red colour. Pour it through a sieve, and press out any remaining juice. Allow to cool.

Once cool, whisk the cream cheese, and slowly add the beetroot and lemon syrup until it JUST starts to loosen. Too far and it'll turn the cream cheese into a liquid. We're looking for the texture of a thick yoghurt - easy to spread, but holds its shape (and won't drip off the side). If you do push it too far, whisk in cornflour to thicken it up (or add more cream cheese if you've got it). Or, you can try any other styles of more traditional frosting. This is just one I threw together.


Once the cake has cooled, cut the top off the dome, and frost it as thick or as thin as you like. Top with nuts and blueberries, and if you've got them, rose or lavender petals add a harmonious floral note - but go easy, its a surprise aroma/flavour that should be used sparingly. Too much will overwhelm the cake. Serve.

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