Most years on Father’s Day I dig out my recipe for the richest, gooiest chocolate cake I can find to treat the old man. (A nice thoughtful gift I thought, until I heard about the girl who bought her Dad a DVD, a watch, AND made him breakfast in bed. What? Dad, don’t get any ideas…) This weekend with the diet niggling at the back of my mind I thought I’d have a go at this recipe from Cook Yourself Thin which has always intrigued me: beetroot chocolate fudge cake.
Although supposedly only 305 calories per slice, I was dubious. Firstly, because that’s for a sixteenth- who cuts a cake into 16 slices? 12 is a stretch. And secondly, because the whole trend for vegetables in sweet things just sounds all corners of wrong. But with the promise of a whole lot less flour and fat than your average chocolate fudge, I thought I’d give it a go…
250g good-quality dark chocolate
3 medium free-range eggs
250g light muscovado sugar
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways, seeds scraped out
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp clear honey
40g self-raising honey
40g plain flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
25g cocoa powder
50g ground almonds
250g raw beetroot, peeled and finely grated
100ml strong black coffee
30ml sunflower oil
Preheat oven to 160C/fan 140C
Grease surface of round 20cm x 8cm loose-bottomed tin and set aside.Melt chocolate gently in bowl over pan of simmering water, then set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, vanilla, maple syrup and the honey for 3 mins with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Gently fold in flours, bicarb of soda, salt, cocoa and ground almonds until fully incorporated.
Using some kitchen paper, dab the grated beetroot to remove excess moisture. Fold the beetroot, cooled chocolate, coffee and oil into mixture with spatula until thoroughly mixed together.
Pour the mixture into the tin and cook in middle of oven for 1 hour 30 mins. After this time, cover the cake with foil and bake for another 30 mins. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into centre of the cake and seeing if it comes out clean- although the cake’s very moist so don’t worry too much if it’s not. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
You can whip up a fudge topping by melting 150g dark chocolate over simmering water, then removing from heat and adding 3tbsp coffee and 1 tsp vanilla essence before gently mixing in 3 tbsp clear honey. However I just served it warm with a good dollop of Greek yoghurt and strawberries.
It went down very well with nobody guessing what the vegetable imposter was; in fact the beetroot is what gives it the gooey texture and added sweetness. Delish. (Did manage about 4 sixteenths of it though.)