Nigel Slater’s chocolate beetroot cake (yum)
I must admit I didn’t have much hope about this cake. I imagined that it would be vile. But I should know better: I have never followed a Nigel Slater recipe and have anything but a fantastic end result.
(Must admit, though, I didn’t cook this cake. My husband did!)
200g fine dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
4tbsps hot espresso
135g plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
3 tbsps good quality cocoa powder
190g caster sugar
Lightly butter a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Line the base with baking parchment.
Pre heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4
Cook the beetroot, whole and unpeeled, in boiled unsalted water (30-40mins). Drain, let them cool.
Once cool, peel them (under running water), slice off the stem and root. Puree roughly.
Separate the bar of chocolate into small cubes and place them into a small glass bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and allow chocolate to melt. Do not let the simmering water touch the bowl; do not stir the chocolate.
When the chocolate is almost melted, pour in the espresso and stir once.
Cut the butter into very small pieces and add to the melted chocolate. Dip the butter down under the surface of the chocolate with a spoon and leave to soften.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa.
Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a large mixing bowl.
Stir the yolks together.
Working quickly, remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until the butter has melted into the chocolate. Leave for a few minutes and stir in the egg yolks. **Do this quickly, mixing firmly and evenly so the eggs blend intothe mixture. Fold in the beetroot.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold in the sugar. Carefully fold the beaten egg whites and sugar into the chocolate mixture. Using a large metal spoon, fold in a figure of eight. Then fold in the flour and cocoa.
Transfer quickly into the prepared cake tin. Immediately turn the oven down to 160C/Gas mark 3. Bake for 40 minutes.
(The rim of the cake will feel spongy, but the middle but will wobble a little).
Leave to cool (it will sink a little in the middle). Loosen it around the edges with a palette knife after 30 minutes. Do not remove the cake until completely cold.
Serve with creme fraiche and poppy seeds.
Taken from Nigel Slater Tender. Fourth Estate. £30.