Beetroot in a cake certainly sounds unusual, but it gives a surprisingly moist and spongy delicate texture. This dairy free and gluten free cake has to be one of my favourite chocolate recipes, and it gets top ratings from my friends who do not even like the taste of beetroot!
This cake is a great source of the essential fatty acids from almonds, is high in protein from eggs and almonds and is a rich source of the antioxidants betacyanins, giving beetroot its beautiful deep purple colour. Beetroots also contain a good amount of fibre and are full of other vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, folate and potassium. This cake really is healthy enough to have as a balanced meal; I like to have it for breakfast 🙂
Ingredients (serves 8-10):
- 300g fresh beetroot (approx 6 beetroots – not pickled as that would taste odd!)
- 100g ground almonds
- 20g (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g (2 tbsp) coconut oil
- 100g 85% chocolate
- 4 large eggs
- 1 vanilla pod
- 45g (3 tbsp) agave nectar
1. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C. I recommend using this temperature, as almonds are not heat stable above 180 deg C, so the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats can be ruined if heated too high.
2. Cut the ends off the beetroot and cut off any rough sections of the skin. Cut into quarters and steam on a low / medium heat for 30 minutes, or until soft when pierced with a fork. Steaming is the preferred method to cook beetroot as it keeps in all the antioxidants and vibrant colour. Keep the water used for steaming if you fancy a beetroot drink later on…
3. In a large bowl, mix together the ground almonds, cocoa powder and baking powder, making sure the baking powder is evenly spread.
4. Add the coconut oil and 80g of the chocolate (broken into small pieces) into a tall bowl, and add the bowl to a pan of simmering water. Make sure that the water level is below the top of the bowl, as you do not want any water getting in.
5. While the coconut oil and chocolate is melting, cut open the vanilla pod length ways and scrape out the inside black paste like consistency.
6. Add the beetroot, eggs, vanilla paste and agave nectar into a food processor and blend well. Then add in the melted coconut oil and chocolate and blend again in the processor.
7. Add the blended wet mixture to the bowl containing the dry ingredients, and stir until fully mixed together.
8. Pour the cake mixture into a circle cake tin (approx 21cm / 8 inch diameter) and bake at 160 deg C for 50 minutes.
9. Leave the cake to set in the cake tin for at least 30 minutes before removing. This cake is delicate and can break when warm, so only take the cake out to leave on a wire rack after this time.
10. Once the cake is completely cooled, grate the remaining 20g of chocolate over the top, and its done! Ready to take a slice and bite into the moist chocolatey heaven.
Lastly, if you kept the water used for steaming the beetroot, this tastes great added to oat milk or apple juice, just to make sure you are getting all those antioxidants from the beetroot!