moist chocolate beetroot cake

When I first started cooking, I used to practise, practice, practise until I got things right. Old habits die hard, because this is the third chocolate beetroot cake I've made recently. The first one from Nigel Slater tasted great but it was too moist and deflated like a soufflé as it cooled so I tried a different recipe; that one was nice but I wasn't keen on the texture so I thought I'd play around a bit with Nigel Slater's original original recipe.

For my third attempt, I reduced the number of eggs from five to four and creamed the butter with the sugar. I just don't like the texture of melt and mix cakes, so if possible I prefer to cream the butter with the sugar and yes, the batter really is that shade of pink. I've attached my version of the cake for you but as it's based on an English recipe, I've used a 15 ml rather than a 20 ml tablespoon. 

Rather than boiling the beetroot, I've discovered it's really easy to cook beetroot in the microwave. You pierce the unpeeled beetroot in a few places, then put them into a small covered container with a tablespoon of water. The beetroot takes about 10 minutes to cook in the microwave on medium high. Once the beetroot has cooled you don rubber gloves to peel them before blitzing in the food processor or you could always grate them if you don't have a food processor.

Moist Chocolate Beetroot Cake (adapted from Nigel Slater)
printable version
250 grams beetroot
200g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids)
4 tbsp hot espresso
135g plain flour
1¼ tsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa powder
4 eggs
200g butter
200g golden caster sugar
additional cocoa

Line the base and sides of a 20cm cake tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.

Cook the beetroot, whole and unpeeled, in boiling unsalted water until they're knifepoint tender (about 30 to 40 minutes) or you can use the microwave method mentioned above. Drain the beetroot, cool under running water, then peel them, slice out their stem and root, and blitz to a rough purée.

Melt the chocolate, chopped into small pieces, in a small bowl resting over a pan of simmering water. Don’t stir. When the chocolate looks almost melted, pour the hot coffee over it and stir once. Allow to cool a little.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Separate the eggs; put the whites into a clean dry mixing bowl. Stir the yolks together.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with half the sugar until light and fluffy, then stir in the egg yolks. Add the chocolate mixture before folding in the pureed beetroot, the flour and cocoa.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold in the remaining sugar. Fold the beaten egg whites and sugar into the chocolate mixture using a large metal spoon.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and put in the oven, turning the heat down immediately to 160ºC/325ºF. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes. The rim of the cake will feel spongy; a skewer inserted into the inner part of the cake should test a little damp. Leave the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before turning out of the tin.

Dust the cake with cocoa before cutting into squares.

How was this version? The cake is very moist and chocolately and doesn't seem to miss that extra egg. By the way, no-one complained that I'd made the same cake, yet again.

See you all again on Wednesday,



  1. Delicious- beet and chocolate cake is definitely on my "To try" list this year!

  2. Hi Juliana,

    this cake always goes down well at work.The beetroot makes the cake very moist and not too sweet. Well worth trying out I think.



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