Bake: With beetroot

Beetroot is my favourite root vegetable, I enjoy its pinkness and its sweet crunch. I nearly always have a pack of cooked beetroot in my fridge. I have never bought uncooked beetroot, until last weekend when I wanted to add layers of colour to boulangere potatoes, a pink (but very tasty) mess ensued and I was left with alot of raw beetroot That I had no idea what to do with, untill the idea of carrot cake with beetroot occured to me, and this is what followed.

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For these you will need your favourite carrot cake recipe.

I adapted this from a Fiona Cairns recipe, because to my mind her carrot cake is the best:

185ml sunflower oil

175g brown sugar

3 eggs

250g beetroot grated- I used raw beetroot, cooked would work equally as well

60g toasted hazelnuts

50g desiccated coconut

200g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1tsp cinamon

1 tsp nutmeg

This recipe makes one 23cm cake, or 6 individual cakes if like me you can’t wait a whole hour for a large cake to bake!

Firstly, pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees then oil and line your cake tins with baking parchment. For small dariole moulds I oil my tin then place a circle of paper at the base, I don’t bother to line the whole tin.

Pour your oil and sugar into a large mixing bowl then with an electric mixer beat these two together until smooth and well combined. Next add your egg, slowly and one at a time, beating them in well as you add each one. Lastly add your grated beetroot, coconut, flour, baking powder and spices, fold these gently into the mix with a wooden spoon. Pour the mix into your prepared moulds, I filled my dariole moulds about half way and then baked them for around 20-30 minutes, until the cake bounced back to the touch. Cool your cakes on a baking tray, resisting temptation to crack one open straight away, all good things come to those who wait! Once cool your cakes might need a little help coming out, you can run a knife around the edge of the mould, turn it over onto the plate/bowl you wish to serve your cake on then tap gently, out it should pop. I served my cake with a little creme fraiche, Some rhubarb compote would have worked nicely also.

The visual on this cake was a little disappointing, the vivid pink of the cake batter turned golden brown in baking, but still a little marbled pink remained running through. Texture and was excellent, Next time I think I shall bake this recipe with parsnip instead of beetroot. I imagine courgette and pumpkin would work rather well too.

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