Why is it that most people pull a face when you mention chocolate beetroot cakes and ask, “Can you taste the beetroot?”
In a carrot cake, can you taste the carrot? Well no, you can’t really taste the beetroot as such, but it gives the chocolate a luxurious, natural deep colour, adds that perfect moisture and gives a fudgy sensation to the fondants. Just try these chocolate beetroot flourless fondants and you’ll see what I mean.
I just love the combination of dark chocolate and beetroot (beet), known as Red Velvet Cakes on the other side of the Pond. I’d read about it a couple of years ago in my aunt’s Scottish recipe book for beating cancer. I didn’t keep the recipe as I found the cake seemed a bit too dry and didn’t call for good quality chocolate – but the idea stuck with me.
As a Scot, we love our beetroots. As a gourmande, I love my squidgy chocolate cake with good quality chocolate. Instead I based this recipe on a simple, classic French flourless chocolate cake but added some beetroot which gives it that moist, extra squidginess.
They can be served warm as a dessert with vanilla ice-cream; or add a touch of ginger or orange to some Chantilly for alternative combinations. I personally love them on their own without any extras: served at room temperature with a ‘noisette’ (espresso coffee with a dash of milk). Don’t forget they always taste better after some maturing, just like wine and macarons…
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Maturing Time: Minimum 24 hours
225g dark chocolate (min 64% cocoa solids)
few drops of coffee essence
200g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
150g pre-cooked beetroot, grated (but not cooked in vinegar!)
1 tbsp ground almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Set a bowl with the broken chocolate pieces over a pan of boiling water. Add the coffee essence and melt in the butter.
- Continue to stir then add the sugar. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the beetroot then add the grated beetroot to the mix. Gradually break the eggs into the mixture, stirring well after each addition, then mix in the almonds.
- Pour the mixture into non-stick silicon mini muffin moulds and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cakes should still be quite moist in the middle but cooked enough on the outside to come clean out of the moulds when cool. Leave to cool completely before turning them out.
- Now the hard part! Wrap the cakes in foil and set aside for at least a day to mature them.
See? It’s not just macarons that need maturing time. Patience…
Incidentally, you’ll find the recipe for chocolate and beetroot macarons in my first book, Mad About Macarons!