November’s kitchen – Beetroot and chocolate cake

This is a cake I often give to groups visiting the garden or when Martin and I do a ‘Gardening on the Menu ‘ talk – it never fails to get mixed reactions when the vegetable ingredient is revealed!

I’m not a fan of beetroot but I love this cake – the beetroot gives it a rich ruby red colour and keeps it really moist. It also helps it to last for several days.

Grate your beetroot - and get red fingers!

Grate your beetroot – and get red fingers!

Beetroot and Chocolate Cake

Takes about an hour and a half. Makes a 2lb loaf cake

30g cocoa powder

180g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

225g caster sugar

Pinch of salt

225g beetroot, boiled till tender in water

200ml corn oil

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

3 eggs, beaten

100g plain chocolate, chopped small

Grease and line a 2lb(900g) loaf tin.

  •  Sieve the flour, salt and cocoa powder together into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and chocolate.
  • Peel the cold, boiled beetroot and either puree in a food processor or grate finely. Put into a bowl and add the oil, eggs and vanilla essence. Beat together well.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the beetroot mixture. Fold in slowly making sure everything is incorporated but don’t over work the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and pop in the oven 180C/fan 160/350F/gas4 for about an hour to 1¼hours.
  • The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean. If the top starts to burn place a piece of tinfoil with a hole cut in the middle over the top of the cake.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve on its own or with a dollop of crème fraiche

Perfect for surprising your friends!

Perfect for surprising your friends!