A few weeks ago I bought a big, vibrant bunch of beetroot from the farmer's market. I was lucky to find them the day I decided I wanted to make a red dessert for Valentine's Day. I wasn't cooking a special lunch or dinner, just dessert and I wanted it to be different, indulgent and totally wicked. A quick search on the fantastic and uber useful Eat Your Books, revealed a Beetroot Cake recipe in the Australian Gourmet Traveller's June 2010 issue. In an interesting and beautiful spread called Red Hot Beetroot Recipes, this humble looking tray cake was an adaptation of Neil Perry's cake in his book The Food I Love.
When I was little, I remember staring at my beet red stained fingers in absolute awe after I had just eaten a slice from the salad plate. I remember tracing my little fingers over the faint rings in each slice and then rubbing the crimson stain over my lips and pretending I was all grown up and wearing lipstick. Beetroot is a marvellous vegetable. It is a testament of how contrasting nature is and full of surprises. The gnarly, woody skin of a beetroot totally contradicts the gorgeous splash of colour it contains within. It is a joy to photograph and an even greater pleasure to consume.
The cake had a simple ingredient list but a slightly over done method. So I decided to adapt the adaptation. This is not your ordinary tea cake. It is a fantastic dessert cake, moist and rich to the hilt. It is trying to be a lot of things, part cake, part pudding, part brownie and part fudge. And it excels on each and every front. The combination of chocolate and beetroot although rarely used is very enticing. It made me want to keep slicing tiny bits off the cake with my splayd and eating it, one dainty bite at a time. Very akin to a flourless chocolate cake, this dense dessert is a lavish affair. Make it glamorous with a dollop of chantilly cream and chocolate shavings, dress it up with ice cream and a sprinkling of dark cocoa or dress it down and eat it plain, unadorned. It is a delight every single way. Make sure it is chilled and you are good as gold. This cake which yields a serving of 10, not only sufficed our Valentine's night sweet cravings but ended up spoiling us for the rest of the week.
Food Styling And Prop Alert : Trudeau Board - $90 Peters Of Kensington. Vintage Metal Grater By Kande - $1 Thrift Store. Glass Bowl - $2 Kmart. Metal Bowl - $5 Kmart. Black floral painted board - $2 Thrift Store. Black wood handle paring knife - $10 Thomas Dux. Square Cake Platter by Alex Liddy - $34.95 at OO. Antique Scallop Plate in Linen - $4 at Target. White Ornate Handle Spoon by Robert Gordon - $14.95 for a set of 12 at OO. Bone handle cake knife - $1 at Thrift Store.
Chocolate Beetroot Pudding Cake
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller & Neil Perry's The Food I Love
Preparation Time - 20 minutes
Baking Time - 1 hour 20 minutes
Chilling Time - 3 hours
Serves - 10
500g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
100g caster sugar
50g brown sugar
1 large beetroot, finely grated (mine weighed 200g)
100ml pouring cream
1/2 cup raw almonds, crushed fine in a food procesor
Preheat oven to 175C. Grease and line a 20cm square tin with baking paper. Make sure the cake tin is completely sealed and water tight.
Melt chocolate in a heavy bottomed pan on very low heat or in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Set aside when melted and glossy. Cool for 10 minutes
Combine eggs, sugar, cream and almonds in a large bowl and beat with an electric beater for 3 minutes. Add the cooled chocolate and beat for another minute. Fold through the grated beetroot and mix well. Pour into prepared tin. Place tin in a roating pan filled with water so that the water comes up halfway to the square cake tin. Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 50 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 150C and bake for 30 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back if lightly pressed. It will look almost like a brownie, moist and dense.
Remove from oven and cool completely before covering tin with cling foil and chilling in the fridge for 3 hours. Serve with ice cream or boozy whipped cream and a sprinkling of dark cocoa.
I just discovered your blog!! and I feel like I've won the lottery!!! Beautiful to look at...wonderful to read!!
Hi! This cake looks amazing and I'd love to try it! I do have a question however- what is pouring cream?!
Clare, pouring cream is thin cream (not thickened or double) that has a pouring consistency, very much like cooking cream or very thick buttermilk. Hope that helps.
Sneh, this recipe captures my heart. I'm always sneaking veggies into chocolate cakes and brownies (and now chia seeds, too. Ha!), but haven't worked in beetroot. Until now! Thanks for the inspiration xx
Your pictures are stunning Sneh! And the cake looks wonderfully moist. Beet is a interesting addition.. I'm yet to try out this combination.
This is truly a very lavish affair. Love beetroot raw and baked but your Chocolate Beetroot recipe is extremely intriguing and make me think on all the wine pairing possibilities.
Look how moist is that pudding? I am sold!
Lovely shots! I've been wanting to try a beetroot and chocolate something for a while now and this cake looks like an awesome place to start.
Looks absolutely delicious. I can't wait to give it a try.
I love beetroot cake - yours looks devine!
what a fabulous idea!!
Never ever would I have thought of putting these two ingredients together: I wonder why 'cause I love both 😀 ! Just a tad 'wicked' but HAVE to try this! And soon! And besides my fondness for your blog I so enjoy both 'Gourmet Traveller' and Neil Perry! Enough said 🙂 !
I don't like beetroots at all but maybe this is a way to eat it and enjoy it. I don't like pumpkin either but I love pumpkin pie so it might work.
I love cakes mixed with veggies! Beet root, pumpkin, zucchini! Such a good idea...
Your's looks great. Will definitely need to try it!
Beetroots can be so versatile -- and you've made a version, combined with chocolate that is so drool-worthy 😀
this cake looks scrumptious 😀 i love the grater you have
Delicious! Almost fudgey brownie looking 🙂 absolutely beautiful as always!
Imake a beetroot cake which I love. It has an earthy, not overly sweet taste. I shall try your version with chocolate. It does sound delicious Sneh.
This cake looks amazing!!
Now that's what I'd call a red velvet cake! 🙂 It looks wonderful, I'm definitely going to try this one. Also wanted to tell you that I tried your recipe for the mushroom torta the other day and it came out deeeelish! Totally love the few recipes that I have tried from your site-keep em' coming!!
I love to eat beetroot but never a fan of cooking with it. Call me over when you are baking another?
I love chocolate & beetroot cake. Only tried once, because my family doesn't like it 🙁 Beautiful pictures !
I made some beet cupcakes yesterday too! I was experimenting with a GF, vegan recipe and it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I am going to make it once again next week 🙂
Love the way your pudding cake looks!
I read Jennifer from Delicieux's post recently and fell slightly in love with it - your version looks wonderful too! Love all that chocolate with the slight hint of pink inside.
How funny that we both posted a chocolate beetroot recipes within days of each other and even funnier that it's adaptions of the same recipe. Great minds think alike 😉 Beautiful photos as always Sneh.
Indeed! Great Minds! 🙂 How gorgeous is this cake??