• Helen Phillips

Chocolate Beetroot Cake


A few weekends ago I ran Royal Berkshire 10k and baked this lush cake for friends. Once again I've had more requests for the recipe.

I’ve made this as a round cake and also baked in a traybake tin, and I swear it’ll give the most yummy of brownies a run for their money.

I challenge you not to love this cake.

Start by preheating your oven to 180C and lining a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment (or a tray bake tin if you’re making “brownies”.

Peel about 250g beetroot and finely chop in a food processor. I hate waste, so if your beetroot totals 300g, not to worry just add it to the cake.

Set a large heat proof mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, break 200g of dark chocolate into chunks and slowly melt over the simmering heat. Whilst the chocolate is melting make up a cup of espresso (if you don’t have an espresso maker, make up some very strong black coffee) and add 4 tbs of the espresso to the melted chocolate along with 200g of butter cut into small pieces. Leave to gently melt, giving a good stir to combine everything.

Meanwhile sift 135g plain flour with 1 tsp baking powder and 3 tbs cocoa together in a bowl.

Separate 5 eggs. You’re going to be whisking the whites into frothy “meringue” so, ensuring there is absolutely no yoke contaminating the whites, add these to the bowl of an electric mixer, or another large bowl (ready for you to “meringue-up” into fluffy white peaks later).

Place the egg yokes into a medium sized bowl and give them a good whisk with a fork. By this time your butter should have melted into the chocolate, so remove from the heat, add in the eggs along with the beetroot and give everything a good stir.

Using an electric whisk whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (of course you can do the … “does this dollop into my hair if I hold the bowl upside down over my head” test if you really must!). Then fold in 190g sugar. Carefully, trying keep as much air in the mix as possible, fold the egg white meringue mixture into the chocolate mix, then fold in the dry ingredients. Carefully pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or so (if you’re using a tray bake tin you might need a little longer).

Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, before carefully removing and leaving to cool on a wire rack.

This cake makes an excellent chocolately desert served with cream or vanilla ice cream or made into brownies.

It’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten!

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