August Recipe: Chocolate, Beetroot and Orange Cake

This cake is delicious but please do use fresh beetroot (you can cook it the night before).  It really doesn’t work well with the packaged variety and fresh beetroot is so readily available.  Should you want to cut down on the chocolate consumption you do not have to serve it with the chocolate sauce (which would mean using 100g. less of chocolate), you could use yogurt and a fresh fruit compote as an accompaniment.

You can melt your chocolate in a microwave but do it in short bursts and check it often, or in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water but DO NOT let the base of the bowl touch the water. Break the chocolate into pieces before melting.

  • 1 medium beetroot (about 200g.)
  • juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 100g. / 4ozs. ground almonds
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 125g. / 5ozs. caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 300g. / 12ozs. dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
  • cream or vanilla ice cream to serve
  1. Place the beetroot in a large pan of boiling water and cook for 30 – 40 minutes until soft. Peel and coarsely chop.
  2. Heat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4. Lightly oil a 20cm. loose-bottomed caked tin and line with baking parchment.
  3. Melt 200g. of the chocolate. Put the cooked beetroot into a food processor and whizz briefly, keeping some texture to it. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the orange juice and zest. Now add the almonds, egg yolks, sugar, baking powder and melted chocolate. Mix thoroughly.
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold them into the chocolate mixture. Spoon into the lined tin and place on a baking tray. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes then allow to cool in the tin.
  5. Melt the remaining chocolate. To serve, pour the melted chocolate over slices of cake and top with cream or vanilla ice cream.
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