The air is feeling a little fresher today, so I thought I’d try out an Autumnal bake. This cake is a twist on http://www.bakingmad.com ’s ‘Classic Chocolate Cake’, but instead of buttermilk, I have used beetroot, a seasonal root vegetable, to add moisture to the sponge. In addition to this, I have substituted the chocolate ganache for a zesty orange cream cheese frosting…
So, for the sponge, you will need:
250 g grated cooked beetroot, 3 large eggs, 1tsp vanilla extract, 180g butter, 225g golden caster sugar, 225g light brown sugar, 325g plain flour, 75g cocoa, 2tsp baking powder, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, pinch salt and 3-5tbsp milk.
Firstly, preheat the oven to 180c (fan) and line two 18cm cake tins, then grate your beetroot into a jug and whisk in the eggs and vanilla (I used a Nielsen-Massey http://www.bakingmad.com/ingredients/category/flavoured-extracts vanilla extract as I find it delivers the best flavour).
Now, in a bowl, cream together your butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. For best results, use good quality sugars such as Billingtons http://www.bakingmad.com/ingredients/category/unrefined-brown-sugars . Add the eggs and beetroot to the creamed mixture in 3 additions. Once these ingredients are well combined, sift in your flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Gently stir then add the milk until you reach a consistency where the mix will plop off a spoon easily. It should not be too thick or too runny.
Divide the mix between two cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes. Once baked, leave to cool completely on a rack.
For the frosting, you will need:
600g icing sugar, 200g cream cheese, zest 1 orange 1-2 tbsp milk.
Simply combine all these ingredients and mix like mad until you achieve a thick, creamy frosting; spread this over the lower sponge then sandwich on the upper cake and top with more. I’d be sparing with the icing, it’s quite rich.
To try the chocolate shard decoration, you’ll need 100g dark chocolate and 50g white.
Melt the chocolates separately in a bowls set over pans of simmering water. Pour the dark onto a sheet of baking paper and spread to an even thickness (about 4mm). Flick the white chocolate over this and sprinkle on orange zest, if you like.
Leave this to set in the fridge then break into pieces when hard. Arrange on the cake in a jagged way to achieve a haphazard design.
I hope you enjoy this cake, and remember- seasonal veg is not just for salads and savoury sides!