An Easy Lunch hour cake!
I had 40min to fully make this cake incl. prep, cooking and aftercare. I’m usually a bit old fashioned when making cakes and make ones that taste even better with time e.g. the ones left over night before eating, can be kept upto a week and taste absolutely mouth watering by the end of it. However this was a modern, make it quickly and eat it now kinda cake so it had to taste good without needing to settle.
Prep & Aftercare: 20min
2 cups of any flour – I used wholemeal
1/2 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup of Brown sugar (e.g. molasses, muscovado, demerara)
3 whole beetroot OR 3/4 cup of beetroot juice
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (I used unpasteurized)
Fruit spread (I used 100% fruit -pomegranate and raspberry- in juice, no sugar hence not a jam or marmalade)
Note – The sugar can be substituted with a non sugar cane or sugar beet based sugar such as stevia or fruit syrup e.g. argave or date syrup. I had intended to do that but used all my date syrup in hot coconut drinks lately :-p The way to check how much you need is through tasting – get the chocolate/batter to your desired sweetness and then cook, and for those not using fruit spread as a topping add abit more sweetener to your cake mix before baking.
1) I mashed the beetroot as best as possible into pulp in a bowl with a fork, it would of course be easier with a blender/hand blender to get a smooth paste, however without access to either I settled for pulp and to be honest the taste didn’t suffer at all, it’s the shape that is affected but I like a bit of weirdness and see it as ‘character’ though smooth is good too 🙂 Plus the baking tray has a hump in the middle so it wasn’t going to be straight anyway lol!
2) To make sure all the ingredients are evenly mixed I prefer to stir the bicarbonate of soda, sugar and cacao powder into the milk in a separate pan to get a sauce and then add to the flour in the mixing bowl. I know the normal way is to mix the dry ingredients and then add the wet but without proper tools to sift and mix fully that can sometimes risk an uneven flavour and at the worst of times a great result but then a spot of saltiness or something similar in the cake which is not desirable.
3) 2 cups of flour into the mixing bowl with the beetroot and then the chocolate sauce with it. Stirred, added the apple cider vinegar (watch it make a nice ‘cream’) and stirred again as much as possible.
4) Preheated the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 celsius / 350 fahrenheit.
5) At this point I added oil to the baking tray (veg butter can also be used) however if you have grease proof paper or don’t mind using foil then either of those can keep the recipe oil free for those that need it that way.
6) Cake went into the top of the oven for 20min.
7) Cooking done! 🙂 I stuck the tip of a cutting knife (not eating one which would be too thick/blunt) into the side and it came out clean. Note – if it doesn’t come out clean keep cooking for a few minutes until it does.
8) I only had one large baking tray rather than two smaller ones so to layer it I simply cut it in half, put fruit spread on one half and lifted the other (carefully) onto the top. Then I added more fruit spread to the top and coconut.
A gorgeous rich sponge cake, dense and succulent without being too heavy or dry. The coconut pulp – which was the result of making coconut milk earlier – wasn’t dry yet and a bit clumpy. Usually waiting for it to dry or using ready made dessicated coconut would ensure it spreads evenly but it doesn’t change the taste much overall. If I had time and since it was moist I would have made some into a snowperson by the side of the cake 😀
For general notes – incorporating veg into desserts like this can really help e.g. I’d had a coupon for beetroot and so bought some as I love it but mum was adamant in her refusal over me adding any to dishes. I kept trying but the there was no way – so into a dessert it went! That disguises the look and mental impressions of it (hello carrot and other veg cakes/loaves), made it sweet(er) and the dessert benefited from its nutrition.
Beetroot can also be used as a natural food colouring so if I had gone with a non-chocolate sponge cake the Red colour would have been more noticeable (great for Red velvet type cakes) and would have been delightful with cream. With chocolate the Brown colour becomes deeper and has a Red tone though that’s not apparent in the photos – great for Black forest type cakes.
The slice shown has fruit spread on top but if I get round to making this again I might make a frosting to go on top instead of two layers of fruit spread. Either way I know it’d taste good! 🙂