Friday, May 04, 2012

one for the weekend

Sadly I grew up only ever seeing beetroot come out of a can. Sliced beetroot out of a can was essential to a salad sandwich or hamburger where I grew up, it was also sweeter than a slice of cake. And that's precisely what I plan to do this weekend with those glorious beetroot beauties pictured above - turn them into a cake.

I am a fan of using vegetables in sweet creations - carrot cake, zucchini muffins, pumpkin and date about you?

As regular readers may remember, our family has been reducing sugar in all its forms in our diet since doing a 12 week cold-turkey detox last year. We now look forward to baking once a week usually on the weekend and enjoying a wholesome, lightly sweetened cake or dessert.

This weekend my mother-in-law is coming to stay and now that I think about it, chocolate beetroot cake is probably not her first choice of sweet indulgence her preference would be vanilla custard slice, jelly lamingtons or sponge cake with lashings of strawberry jam and whipped cream. Oh well as long as there is cream on the table and the cake is iced and I don't mention the beetroot or that I reduce the amount of sugar I think she will be happy. I think. And no doubt during her stay we will venture to the main street of Sorrento, our local town, for coffee and there she can delight in something super sweet and take great joy in 'treating' River and Sol to something too. There's a saying along the lines of grandparents do the spoiling, parents do the disciplining.

On to the recipe.

This recipe comes from one of the first cookbooks I received as a gift eighteen short years ago and I still love it as much today as when I first looked upon it in all its newness.

The book is New Food - from the new basics to the new classics by Australian cookbook author and food writer Jill Dupleix. And the recipe is a wonderful earthy, dense and moist chocolate beetroot cake.

Chocolate Beetroot Cake


1/2 cup cocoa
1.5 cups white spelt flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1.5 cups of castor sugar - (I make it with 1/3 cup rapadura sugar. Or use a sweetener of your choice)
1 cup corn oil (I use sweet almond oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 good eggs laid by happy healthy chickens. Lightly whisk the eggs.
1 cup cooked beetroot pureed
2 tablespoons walnuts, finely chopped (optional)

To make:

Preheat oven to 180C
Grease and flour 18cm round cake tin, or muffin tray
In a large mixing bowl sift cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt.
Mix in sugar (if you are using a liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup add it in the next step)
Pour in oil, vanilla, eggs, (liquid sweetener if using), beetroot and walnuts. Mix  well until all ingredients combined.
Pour batter into tin or spoon into muffin tray and bake 50 minutes for round cake, 25 minutes for muffin tray
Allow to cool in tin, remove and dust with icing sugar or icing of your choice.

We are also visiting Red Hill market this weekend. And then hopefully relaxing at home on Sunday. River starting school this year and our family becoming part of a school community is wearing me out! Bring on Sunday. Enjoy!

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