Dark Chocolate and Beetroot Cake

This divine Recipe is not dissimilar in theory to the well established carrot cake. The beetroot adds texture and moisture rather than any dissectible flavour. The version includes a thick, dark chocolate topping. This hard shell contrasts very well with the soft, moist cake,but for speed this is the optional and the cake can instead be served warm from the oven. For the topping, I like to use a smoky, earthy, single estate dark chocolate from Sao Tome, an island off the west coast of Africa, which is a chocolate we stock at Melt. Alternatively, use a dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids.
Ingredients2-3 slices of fresh ginger, approximately 5mm thick 250g raw beetroot, unpeeled 200g unsalted butter, cut into cubes 400g dark chocolate (at least 60 %cocoa solids) chopped 5 organic eggs, separated 180g dark soft brown sugar
Prep Time15 minutes
Cooking Time95 - 115 minutes
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ Gas Mark 4. grease a 20cm round, loose-based cake tin and line the base with the baking parchment

  2. Place the slices of fresh ginger in a measuring jug, pour over 250ml boiling water and set aside to infuse

  3. Place the beetroot in a pan, cover with plenty of water, bring to the boil and cook for 40 - 50 minutes, until soft. Drain and leave to cool, then slip off the tops and skin with a paring knife. Quarter the beetroot and blitz in a food processor or blender with 4 tablespoons of the ginger water until very finely chopped but not a complete mush
  4. Put the butter and 300g of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place in a low oven (about 50C) for 15 minutes, until melted, stirring gently once or twice. Remove and set aside.

  5. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Take the chocolate and butter out of the oven and stir to amalgamate well. Stir the egg yolks vigorously into the warm chocolate and butter , then stir the sugar in until well combined. Fold this mixture gently into the whisked egg whites. Finally sift the flour and fold it in, followed by the beetroot mixture.

  6. Turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

  7. To make the topping, melt the remaining chocolate in the turned-off oven. Coat the cake with a thick layer of the melted chocolate and leave to set.

  8. Serve the cake with a blob of mascarpone or whipped cream and a cup of fresh ginger tea
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