BLACKBERRY & BEETROOT CAKE

This gets me 2 out of my 5 a day, right?

This cake is not a healthy cake, despite the fact I deliberately threw the blackberries and beetroot in the title. But alas, in my opinion, no cake is worth baking unless there’s a little bit of ‘cakeyness’ to it. Adding beetroot to my cake batter was not an addition of modern pressure to make the recipe as ostentatious as possible, but more of a subtle tweak of flavour balancing. There was also the notion of using up ingredients but as a food writer in 2017, it’s a troubled track to tread.

What I mean by that is, cake baking (and desserts in general) has become a battle field in the past few years. The consensus is now ‘how many ingredients can we remove or substitute and still call it a cake?’ and it’s all dreadful. Nobody wants a cake that isn’t a cake. If it’s not a cake, don’t call it one. I see so many food writers in this day and age strive to call something a cake that is held up by potatoes or beans with prayers and angel hairs just because they want a fancy alternative to a cake.

This is just a normal cake with beetroot in it.

Nothing fancy. Nothing strenuous. Nothing you haven’t heard before. I had bought two packs of beetroot for my Beetroot & Apple Smoothie and only needed one so I had a whole pack leftoever and was like ‘…huh… that could be nice’. The rest is history.

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Preheat your oven to 160C and line two 20cm cake tins. My newest revelation is pre-cut cake tin liners. It’s a small bag full of 20cm baking parchment disks from Poundland. No more scissoring. I spray the hell out of the tin with some spray oil, pop the parchment in and it’s done.

Now in a food processor, blitz 250g of caster sugar with 70g of dark chocolate until it creates a dark rubble. Now bust open and drain a vacuum pack of 4 beetroots and add to the processor, blitz down. Now add 3 eggs and 250ml of vegetable oil and blitz again so what you have is a very liquid – and malevolent purple – batter.

Now sift 250g of self-raising flower into a big mixing bowl and ass a teaspoon and a half of bicarb. Fork the mixture together. Pour the purple batter into the dry ingredients and fold both together. You may find the odd chunk of beetroot or chocolate. This is what you want because these will add a fantastic texture to your sponge. Pour this mixture evenly into the two tins, slide in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Bring the cakes out and allow them to sit for about 30 mins in their tins while you get on with your frosting. This is simple. In a big bowl, combine 100g of butter with 150g of icing sugar and two big tablespoons of blackberry jam. Mix this together – either with a spoon or with an electric mixer – to create a thick spread. Now put a handful of fresh blackberries in a bowl and using the back of a fork, smush them up. Add to the icing.

Once the sponges have cooled, turn them out onto a flat surface. Spread half of the mixture on to one sponge before gently placing on top of the other. Spread the remaining mixture on the top layer before decorating with a handful of blackberries. Dust with a little icing sugar for some dramatic effect.

Eat small slices. This is a rich cake. You’ll regret NOTHING.

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