Finally, after months of waiting, I managed to get my hands on some raw beetroot. I’d been intending to make a beetroot and chocolate cake for ages… so I made this experimental number. It turned out brilliantly – a really juicy cake, nicely chocolatey, with just a hint of dirt. Lovely.
The pictures just came out looking like any old slab of cake, so here I’m treating you to an in-pan shot of the beetroot mixture as the marg is being melted into it.
It’s great once you mix it in with the chocolate as it bears a striking resemblance to puréed human flesh (if you believe the movies, at any rate). Also… in the interests of dietary requirements (after the gluten-free success last time) I note that this cake is dairy-free and eggless, but obviously check all your labels before cooking if you’re not sure. It also has plenty of vitamins A and E – respectively, 12 and 18% of the RDA, I calculate, if you’re dividing the cake into 8. But that is about 300kcal per slice, so don’t be scoffing it all back and blaming your podge on me.
Beetroot & Chocolate Cake
Makes a 9×13″ cake (use a baking dish).
2 medium/150g fresh raw beetroot, grated
1 cup/175g sugar
7 tbsp/125g margarine
1/2 tsp salt
pinch Chinese five-spice
1 cup water
2 cups/230g plain white flour
1/4 cup/30g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Place the beets, sugar, butter (or equivalent), salt, spice and water in a saucepan. Heat and simmer until the butter is melted, then put to one side to cool.
Sieve the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish. When the beetroot mixture is merely warm, rather than scalding, mix into the dry ingredients. Pour into the prepared dish, and bake in a 160C oven for 35-40 minutes until a skewer/cocktail stick comes out clean.
Last Thursday was Bake Night at Casa Careless. Two birthdays and a spurt of enthusiasm led to these pinwheely delights:
and what I affectionately named Biscotti Mountain:
I actually made two lots of the biscotti, one set gluten-free, one set gluten-rich. Since the gluten-free one was my own adaptation, I thought I’d share (as when I was looking for gluten-free biscotti recipes I shied away in horror from just about all of them. So needlessly complicated!)
Gluten-Free Pistachio & Chocolate Biscotti
makes about 40-50 biscotti
200g plain gluten-free flour (I used this stuff, which is just what they had in the shop but seems very nice)
60g cocoa powder
150g caster sugar
50g plain chocolate
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
splash of milk, probably less than a tablespoon
100g roasted unsalted pistachios
Pulverise the flour, cocoa, sugar, chocolate, baking powder and salt in a food processor until the chocolate has broken into tiny pieces. Add the eggs, vanilla and a splash of milk and mix until a dough forms. Tip onto a floured surface and knead in the nuts. Divide into four and roll each out into a narrow log, about 3cm wide and 30cm long when flattened. Place onto a lined baking sheet and bake at 180C for 25 minutes.
When cooled, cut diagonally into 1-2cm size pieces. Y’know, like biscotti are supposed to look. Then put back into the oven for 15 mins, until further crisped. And you’re done.
The only real difference I found between the different flours was that the gluten-free didn’t hold its shape as well (I expected that) and was a bit stickier and harder to roll into logs. But that was solved just by keeping one hand to be coated in goo, and the other relatively clean and floured for rolling. Other than that, almost identical results for both batches.