This cake only came about after ordering a box of local produce from Relay Foods. It had several huge beautiful beetroot in it. I really like beetroot but there’s only so much that you can grate into a salad before it starts looking like a nasty accident.
I’ve eaten beetroot in chocolate cake many times, it gives it a lovely moist, squishy texture. I’m also a big fan of carrot cake (my mum makes the best) and I’m not averse to the odd slice of parsnip cake. So why not give beetroot cake a whirl?
I’ve aimed for a dense, sticky cake, a little like Jamaican ginger cake because I didn’t anticipate the beetroot being as sweet as carrot would be. You might also notice that there is a bit of marbling in my cake. This is because the pigments in beetroot (anthocyanins and betalains) are pH and heat sensitive, which means that they are affected not just by the baking but also by the bicarbonate of soda in the batter. I think the marbling may mean that I perhaps wasn’t as thorough as I might have been with my mixing (oops).
My cream cheese frosting isn’t especially sweet so if you like a more classic fluffy frosting then you may want to add more icing sugar than I do. I really like this cake warm but obviously that does mean that the frosting will melt so you’ll need to let it cool to decorate it, or simply serve the frosting on the side.
I roast my beetroot (I think it makes them sweeter.) I just gave them a scrub and wrapped them up in a tin foil parcel before putting them in the oven at 180°c for around 1 hour, until they were tender. This also made them easier to peel as the skins should just pull off once the beets are cooked.
380g cooked, pureed beetroot
150g dark brown sugar
30g peeled, grated fresh ginger (you can substitute ground or crystalized ginger)
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 nutmeg grated
Cardamon Cream Cheese Frosting
150g softened cream cheese
20g soft butter
125g icing sugar
scant 1/2 tsp cardomon
Preheat the oven to 170°c and line a 9″ tin with greaseproof paper.
Mix the milk and bicarbonate of soda together in a small dish and set aside.
Melt together the butter, sugar and ginger. Sift the flour and ground spices into large bowl and then pour on your melted concoction. Give it a bit of a mix with a wooden spoon, you might need to use a bit of elbow grease. Lightly beat the eggs and then mix these in too before stirring in the beetroot puree. Finally mix in the milk and bicarbonate of soda. Make sure you get all of the bicarb in and mix it well (better than I did).
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 50-55 minutes.
Leave to cool slightly before turning out of the tin. Either enjoy warm or leave to cool totally on a wire rack before decorating.
For the frosting simply beat all of the ingredients together until thick and creamy before spreading or piping onto the cake. As I mentioned before if you prefer a sweeter, fluffier frosting then gradually add more icing sugar to the frosting mix until you are happy with taste and texture.