I've added this so I don't forget how to make it! This beetroot chocolate fudge cake will hit you between the eyes and knock you out. The beauty of this recipe is that it is incredibly rich and deep in flavour, yet uses hardly any flour or fat. I promise you that a little will go a long way. The beetroot is not a touch of madness - it actually provides the gungy texture that makes a great fudge cake, and some natural pink sweetness too. Leave yourself plenty of time to make this cake because it is quite a lengthy recipe. The cake is best eaten when it is still slightly warm. It is also really important to ice it at the last minute or the icing can lose its shine. However, it would freeze beautifully providing you put it away before icing. Simply defrost when needed and ice at the last minute.
- 250 g dark chocolate
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 250 g light muscovado sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons clear honey
- 40 g self-raising flour
- 40 g plain flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 25 g cocoa powder
- 50 g ground almonds
- 250 g beetroots, raw, peeled and finely grated
- 100 ml strong black coffee
- 30 ml sunflower oil
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 3 tablespoons strong black coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 3 tablespoons clear honey
- Preheat a conventional oven to 160ºC, or a fan-assisted one to 140ºC. With the help of a brush and a tiny bit of sunflower oil, grease the surface of a round 20cm diameter by 8cm high loose-bottomed tin and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until all dissolved, then set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, the scraped-out vanilla seeds, the maple syrup and the honey for three minutes with an electric hand whisk until pale and quite fluffy.
- Gently fold in the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa and ground almonds until fully incorporated.
- Using some kitchen paper, dab the grated beetroot thoroughly to remove some of the excess moisture. Fold in the beetroot, cooled chocolate, coffee and oil with the help of a spatula until thoroughly mixed together.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook in the middle of the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. After this time, cover the cake with foil and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean (although this cake is so moist that even when the cake is fully cooked, the skewer comes out looking slightly messy). Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- To make the fudge topping, melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then remove from the heat and add the coffee and the vanilla essence.
- At this stage the chocolate will seize up slightly, but it will relax back once you add the honey and gently mix inches.
- Set aside to cool for 15 minutes before icing the cake. Cut the cake through the middle and ice it in the centre and on all sides.
- Decorate the top with whatever you fancy, but I like using pink flowers, such as tulips or roses, which I plant into the cake with a bit of stem left on.