MY first experience with beetroots wasn't too disappointing like how it was for the other kids. It did feel like I was chewing on muddy grass. The earthy scent and flavour of beets didn't go down well with me but I ate it anyway because of its gorgeous colour! Unbelievable deep red from something so ordinary on the outside. I was morbidly fascinated by beetroots from the time I saw my grandma slice through one as it left bloody burgundy stains on her fingers and the wooden chopping board.
Many years later, my mom fed me with a combination of beetroot, apple and carrot juices daily at a low point when my system was down. Initially I was a little irked by the idea of having to consume raw beet but the experience wasn't bad at all. The combination was red and delicious, and, rich and healing. Two years ago, the same combination became a big part of my dad-in-law's diet when he was recovering from stomach cancer and I'd say it helped in a speedy recovery for him as well. What an extraordinary food!
Hence a cake with beetroots in it immediately appealed to me when I came across Nigel Slater's Extremely Moist Chocolate Beet Cake recipe. Having no clue on how this cake was going to taste like with beets, dark chocolate and espresso, I decided to follow the recipe to a T. Easy ingredients and quite simple to follow really but it surely needs some planning ahead. Otherwise you could very well end up with a high pile of dishes in the sink and a very messy kitchen!
The cake came out soft, moist and beautiful as promised. The key is in not over-baking it even for the slightest minute. In the flavour department, don't worry about tasting earthy beets. The dark chocolate flavour supported by the coffee translates really well and the white topping creates a palatable balance. Make it a real thick layer (of topping) if you're not a huge fan of dark, bitter chocolate though. I feel like it's quite a sophisticated cake for the mature tastebuds so it probably won't be a big hit with kids.
Personally, I'd have preferred some nuts thrown in for some texture and nutty flavours or even experiment with some lemon or orange drizzle for a bit of zing. Otherwise the recipe is still very good on its own + it's also packed with antioxidants and other nutritions.
Happy Easter y'all!
|Beetroots cooked and made into puree for the cake.|
|The cake demands for a lot of good quality dark chocolate.|
I'd have preferred some nuts too for some texture.
|Topped with cream cheese as I couldn't find any|
creme fraiche at the local store.