Nigel Slater’s chocolate and beet cake

Wow! This recipe is absolutely stunning and was featured in the category “genius recipes” on Food52 a few weeks ago. I saw some lovely pink beets in the Farm Shop today so I decided that its time to try out something new. The recipe takes a while and is quite messy but it is definitely worth it!

Make sure you have many mixing bowls and small bowls!

For a 20cm (8inch) spring form cake pan:
 
250g fresh beets
200g fine dark chocolate (70%)
60ml hot espresso
200g butter (room temperature)
150g plain flour
1 large teaspoon of baking powder
3 tablespoons cacao powder
5 eggs
200g caster sugar
creme fraiche and poppy seeds to serve with 
 

Cook the beets in boiling water until tender (20-40 minutes depending on size). Drain them and cool under cold running water. Peel and cut into small chunks. Use a hand blender or food processor to make a puree.

Preheat the oven for 180°C (Gas mark 4). Line the base of the spring form pan with parchment paper and butter the rest of the pan.

Break the chocolate into chunks and place in a saucepan over simmering water (try not to touch the water surface with the saucepan). Add the chocolate and let it melt without stirring.  Just before everything is melted, pour over the hot espresso and stir together.

Cut the butter into small chunks and give to the chocolate mixture. Leave for about a minute without stirring. Take the chocolate off the waterbath and stir in the butter completely. Set aside for a few minutes.

Sift together flour, baking powder and cacao. Separate the eggs (egg whites into large mixing bowl).

Whisk the egg yolks and stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the beets, too.

Whisk egg whites until stiff and carefully fold in the sugar. Slowly fold in the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Lastly, fold in the flour and cacao.

Transfer to the prepared cake pan , change the oven temperature to 160°C (Gas mark 3) and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Check the middle with a wooden stick to ensure that the cake is cooked enough.

Leave to cool completely before releasing from the spring form pan.

Serve with creme fraiche and poppy seeds.

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