I write this sitting at my mother’s dining table in London, with my 15-month old daughter sitting in her chair opposite. She’s currently laughing her little head off, as she casually flicks her olives across the room. Yep, I think that pretty much sums up my life right now.
Oh and I’m also eating cake! A slice of moist, utterly satisfying chocolate beetroot cake, to be precise.
I’m so excited to share this recipe as its my own creation! Not long ago, I would not have been confident enough to create a cake recipe from scratch. So I was ecstatic when this one turned out so nice and soft. And best of all, it’s refined sugar-free, which meant I had no qualms about giving some to my little one 🙂
But first, let’s discuss this beetroot-in-a-cake business. I didn’t actually use beetroots here; I used beetroot powder. Did you know that beetroot powder is high in iron and vitamin C? It’s well known that vitamin C strongly enhances the absorption of iron (that’s why a lot of people drink fresh orange juice with iron-rich meals), so the fact that both are present here makes this an incredible superfood!
The beetroot powder has a brilliant hot pink shade to it, pretty much the same as fresh grated beetroots, BUT… using the powder means you don’t get the stains all over your hands, clothes and face (yes, face… I’ve been there).
I was worried that by skimping on fresh beets I wouldn’t get the moistness that they are traditionally used for. But I was pleasantly surprised at how deliciously soft this turned out anyway!
You’ll note that the temperature this is baked at is lower than usual. This is because instead of sugar, the cake is sweetened with a combination of honey and date nectar, which would have burnt at a higher temperature.
Have you ever used beetroot powder before? I’d love to hear how in the comments below. Also tell me what’s the weirdest vegetable you’ve ever used in a dessert, and if you’ll try this recipe 🙂
CHOCOLATE BEETROOT LOAF CAKE
1.5 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tbsp beetroot powder
125g butter, melted
1 cup milk (with 2 tbsp removed and discarded)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup date nectar*
*if you don’t have date nectar to hand, you can simply use honey instead, or even maple syrup.
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius (325 degrees Fahrenheit). Lightly grease a loaf tin, then line it with baking parchment.
In one bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cocoa and beetroot powder with a whisk till everything is combined.
In another bowl, combine the melted butter, eggs, vanilla and honey (don’t forget to discard two tbsp from the milk first). Whisk everything by hand, then gently stir in the flour mix.
Bake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes (check from 50 minutes onwards by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the middle, and seeing if it comes out clean).
Once the cake is baked, let it cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Disclaimer: Indigo Herbs very kindly sent me some beetroot powder to review and create something yummy with. However, I did not receive any financial compensation from them, and ALL opinions expressed are my own 🙂