Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Chocolate beetroot cake

A good chocolate cake is priceless. I'd pay anything for a rich chocolatey slice of divinity. Something that's moist. Something that is rich and has a depth of flavour.  A chocolate cakes needs to have more than one dimension of flavour going on or it can get
a little boring, mouthful after mouthful. You need to taste the rich bitter chocolate, and it's needs to have a good level of sweetness but not too sweet or it can take over all the other flavours, and it needs at least another dimension going on either chilli for spiciness and warmth or cinnamon for spicy earthiness or vanilla for sweet woodiness. If you layer up the flavours, it can be something quite special.

The soft fluffiness of the ganache contrast the moist bread like texture of the cake. A hint of balsamic vinegar alludes most but adds depth and curiosity to the palate. The beetroot of course adds the moisture and goodness. I use raw beetroot to achieve this. Many Chocolate beetroot cakes used cooked beetroot. Those who know me, know I'm not a fan of cooked beetroot, except in this recipe, mind you it goes into the cake mixture raw! 

There's nothing hippy about this cake. It's just pure, rich indulgence. Everyone should have at least one decent chocolate cake recipe up their sleeve, see what you think of this one.

Makes = 12 big fat pieces in a round cake tin 25cm in diameter.

Line the tin with baking paper. Trace and cut a circle (measure the base of the tin). then cut wide strips so that they measure higher than the rim of the tin, so the cake can go 'up' as high as it likes.

Cake mix
600gm spelt (white) flour
150ml almond or macadamia oil
3 cups coconut sugar
11/2 cups cocoa powder
850-900ml half water/soya milk
8 tsp low allergy baking powder
2 tsp vanilla paste
2 cups grated beetroot, loosely packed

Chocolate ganache
300gm 70% dark chocolate, shaved
300ml coconut cream/milk
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla

Turn the oven on and prepare the cake tin with baking paper as suggested above. 

Beat the sugar and the oil together until combined. 
Add the rest of the ingredients and gently beat (fold the mixture) for 5 minutes, air-rating the mixture to create lightness.
Pour the batter into the tin and place in the hot oven, on the middle rung.

Bake at 180C for 1hr and 15 minutes or until the sides of the cake have pulled away from the edges. Also to be sure stick a skewer into the centre of the cake to ensure it's cooked. The skewer should come out moist but clean, with not cake stuck to it. Only do this after 1 hour and not before as you can risk collapsing the cake!

Once cooked, remove cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Then carefully release the clip on the tin and run a knife around the edge if you need to.  Place a cooling rack on the top of the cake and flip it over gently so the top of the cake in on the cooking rack (you can also use a flat baking tray for this stage if you don't have two cooling racks!). Remove the base of the cake tin carefully and place another cooling rack on the base of the cake, then turn once more so the cake in back upright once again.

Allow to fully cool and then ice with the ganache and chill in the fridge.

To make the ganache
Melt the chocolate in a bowl sitting over a saucepan with boiling water. Ensure the bowl sits over the rim of the saucepan so no steam can escape and spoil the chocolate. Once chocolate has just melted, remove and add the remaining ingredients and whisk until blended.

Place in the fridge for 30-40 minutes or until ganache has begun to stiffen. Once ganache has cooled, thickened and is slightly stiff, pour over the cake evenly, covering the sides too. Use a flat spatula to guide the ganache and to cover the cake evenly.

Place in the fridge for ganache to fully set.

Eat with friends on a picnic rug, under a shady tree with a thermos of hot dandy or chai tea.

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