Once upon a time, when I lived with two very lovely former housemates in my previous abode, we liked to discover ways of cooking with ‘new’ vegetables. Actually you could either blame one of my housemate – or give credit to her – for why I got sidetracked from my ultimate chocolate brownie recipe quest. She told me that she had abandoned some beetroot in the fridge when she went away. So I decided to bake a cake with them.
When I was younger, I didn’t know that beetroot could come in any other way than sitting in a jar of pickle. And I wasn’t very keen on it. Now, i’ve tried it roasted and crisped (i love the latter) but making a cake with it? I was in a very adventurous mood when I set my mind to it. The only two criteria that it had to meet was that it was a Good Food Channel recipe (so that I could enter their photo competition) and I had the ingredients in my cupboard. Here’s the result!
Beetroot and Hazelnut Cake adapted from the Good Food Channel
I’ve adapted the recipe slightly. I use less sugar and made my own judgements where the recipe was a bit vague about what flour to use and what to do with the beetroot. Also, I didn’t have any apricot jam so I couldn’t glaze the cake as the recipe suggested. It was yum yum.
200ml vegetable oil
150g golden caster sugar
150g raw beetroot, grated
100g chopped walnuts, plus extra for decoration
100g chopped toasted hazelnuts
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
3 tsp milk (I used unsweetened soya milk)
200g plain flour
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6 and grease a 20cm cake tin.
- Grate the beetroot into a large bowl. Be careful not to stain anything. Beetroot juice is very red. At one point, I wondered whether the redness on my hands was blood or juice when I accidently grated my thumb.
- Add the oil, sugar, walnuts, hazelnuts, egg yolks, baking powder and mixed spice to the beetroot and mix it well.
- Mix in the milk and plain flour.
- In a different bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks.
- Fold the whisked egg whites to the beetroot mixture.
- Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin and decorate with the nuts. (it looks very very pink!)
- Bake in the oven for 30 mins (or until the tester skewer comes out clean).
- Leave to cool for 5 mins in the cake tin and then take it out to cool on a wire rack.
Verdict? This was such a moist cake (courtesy of the beetroot) and once the beetroot was grated, it was a really simple cake to put together and bake. Colleagues at work enjoyed eating this. But it generated a fair bit of controversy… tee hee. If I bake another beetroot cake, I’d like to partner beetroot with chocolate. I think that it’ll be a killer combo!
ps. I’m so excited. On the Good Food Channel website, you can see my photo for this recipe. The competition was probably their ploy of increasing their range of food photographs!