Recipe of the Week - Chocolate & Beetroot Cake

This is an amazingly moist chocolate cake with the surprising addition of beetroot as its main ingredient. The earthy, sweet notes of the beetroot are a perfect foil for the bitter chocolate. New season beetroot should be in the shops or your garden soon, and the smaller sweet beets are ideal for this dish; you could buy pre-cooked beetroot as they work equally, but make sure they are not in vinegar!
The white chocolate should be purchased in bar, not buttons, as you need to keep the chunks quite significant to ensure they don't melt and disappear.
Cass originally got the recipe from the very first issue of Wallpaper* magazine. I have tweaked it slightly over the years, and I believe it was Scandinavian in origin.

Makes a 28cm cake

4 free range eggs

230g caster sugar

350g cooked beetroot, peeled
165ml sunflower oil

2 tsp pure vanilla extract
150g plain white flour

1⁄2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

40g bitter 100% cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
200g white chocolate chunks

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Whisk together the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and thick.
  2. In a food processor, blend the beetroot with the oil and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Sift the our, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder into a bowl.
  4. Whisk the beetroot into the egg and sugar mix, the gently
fold in the sifted dry ingredients. Mix in the white chocolate.
  5. Butter a 28cm
cake tin with a removable bottom and line the bottom with baking parchment. Line the side of the tin with a separate strip of parchment.
  6. Pour in the cake mixture. Bake for 40–50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  7. When cold, remove the cake from the tin. Dust the top with cocoa powder.
  8. The addition of dairy - crème fraiche is a good accompaniment. 

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