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Beetroot chocolate cake [Mar. 24th, 2015|06:04 pm]

I mostly avoid the chocolate option on the menu. It's not that I don't like chocolate, it's that it is rarely chocolatey enough: if it isn't rich and dark and intense, I'll have something else, thanks. This is true of beetroot chocolate cake as well: it sounds like a great idea, harnessing those two sombre sweetnesses into one rich cake, but too often the result falls short of the potential.

Now for the good news: I may be on the right track at last! This recipe was my starting point: I halved the quantities, and tinkered with the ingredients, so that my version used:
6 oz cooked beetroot, coarsely grated
100g Divine dark chocolate with ginger and orange
2 eggs
2 - 3 oz vanilla sugar (fructose)
2 oz spelt flour + 1 tspn baking powder
1 oz cocoa powder
2 oz butter

Melt butter and chocolate, stir in beetroot. Whisk eggs and sugar, fold in butter/chocolate mix, fold in dry ingredients.

Bake in a lined loaf tin, mark 4 for 45 minutes or less.
It's hard to tell when it's done - when it's warm, it's still quite soft, and there's too much beetroot present for the skewer test to be reliable. These timings in my oven gave a light, fluffy cake - I'd expected something more like a brownie, but it was less moist and heavy than that. Of course, I'd been generous with the baking powder, and increased the proportion of egg (I don't deal in half eggs), which may explain it.

Cooking the beetroot beforehand worked well, which was a surprise.

I had my doubts about the chocolate, too: I'd bought two bars some time ago, and we'd eaten one, and not been impressed (I found the little nuggets of orange slightly unpleasant) but I thought it would be good enough to cook with. In fact it was very good. I'm still not won over by the little nuggets of orange, some of which survived the process, but the ginger was excellent. Another time, if there's no ginger in the chocolate, it may be necessary to add some (maybe stem ginger, a little syrup and a chopped lump or so).

What is the purpose of the sugar? By the time a cake contains both beetroot and chocolate, it really doesn't need extra sweetness. The sugar makes it easier to beat the eggs to a thick cream, but does it actually add any lightness?

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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-03-25 02:55 pm (UTC)
That's what I feared, that even if you don't want the sugar for sweetness, it contributes to the texture.

What are the beans in Chinese bean paste? Are they aduki beans? They might add sweetness...
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-03-25 03:48 pm (UTC)
Baking is a constant process of experimenting.
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[User Picture]From: klwilliams
2015-03-27 08:39 pm (UTC)
Did you like our wedding cake? The alternate version, which was also chocolate beetroot, was slightly richer and a lot gooey-er (gooeier?), so it wouldn't have worked for our wedding cake, but it was delicious.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-03-29 11:39 am (UTC)
Your wedding cake was my starting point: it was good, but I wanted to make something daker and richer - though as you say, that would not have worked as a wedding cake.

(I completely loved the decoration, though!)
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