Intensely rich and chocolatey, the beetroot gives this cake a fantastic moist texture and it will keep for several days. i prefer to coarsely grate the beetroot as you get lovely flecks of the vegetable in the cake, but you could grate it more finely. if you’re going to be travelling with the cake, run a long, wide strip of greaseproof paper along the length of the tin with plenty of overhang at each end. Return the cooled, iced cake to the tin and loosely wrap with greaseproof and clingfilm. The overhanging paper will help you lift it out easily.
2 large eggs
150g soft brown sugar
75ml sunflower oil
150g dark chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g self-raising flour
1⁄2 tsp baking powder
40g ground almonds
150g raw grated beetroot
For the icing
100g dark chocolate, in pieces
25g butter, plus extra for greasing
3 tbsp double cream
50g icing sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4). Butter and line a 2lb loaf tin.
Place the eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl and beat together well until light and foamy. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla extract.
Sift the flour and baking powder and fold in carefully, along with the ground almonds. Gently fold in the grated beetroot, and then spoon the mix into the prepared tin.
Bake for 45 minutes until set. Test that the cake is done by inserting a wooden skewer – it should come out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove the bowl from the heat, allow to cool a little and beat in the cream and icing sugar.
Allow the mixture to cool and harden a little before spreading thickly over the top of the cake
Adapted from The Weekend Cookbook by Catherine Hill (Michael Joseph, £18.99). To buy this book at the special price of £14.99, inc p&p, tel: 0843 060 0021 and quote Junior Weekend Cookbook.
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