I’ve been wanting to bake a cake using a vegetable for a while now, and so as I have a week off work I thought it was the perfect time to experiment. Using beetroot in cakes seems to have become a popular option as of late so I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about. There’s something exciting about beetroot for me, its deep purple colour is just amazing! I can’t say I eat much of it in my daily life but I may be tempted to now. When buying the beetroot be careful which one you pick up; it must be cooked and not in vinegar!! It’s pretty cheap as an ingredient (80p for 300g). The natural colour of beetroot is what makes it a great ingredient to use in cakes, it can be your natural dye. I did research into other cakes with beetroot and found a few egg-less ones. I used a basic cake recipe I learnt whilst in Italy using yoghurt and oil instead of eggs and butter. This method seems to make the cake moister and I always use a flavoured yoghurt so I cut down on using another ingredient (in this case vanilla yoghurt instead of vanilla essence). The best thing about the ‘yoghurt pot’ method is that you don’t need to use scales as you measure the flour, sugar and oil using the pot!
175g (approx) cooked beetroot
150g pot of vanilla yoghurt
2 1/2 pots plain flour
2 pots demerara sugar
1/2 pot cocoa powder
1 pot rapeseed oil
1 tbsp baking powder
4 cubes dark chocolate, grated
pinch of salt
1. Preheat your oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Line a cake tin (I used a loaf tin) with greaseproof paper.
3. Add the chopped beetroot to a blender and blitz it until it forms a sort of purée. If you don’t have a blender just cut very finely or mash it until soft. Making a purée spreads the colour and flavouring evenly throughout the cake.
4. Pour the yoghurt into the blender and measure out the other ingredients using the pot. Add all of the remaining ingredients (except the grated chocolate) to the blender (or bowl if you aren’t using a blender!) and mix.
6. Pour your cake mixture into the lined cake tin and bake for 50 minutes. It may need a little longer depending on your oven but test to see if it’s cooked with a wooden skewer or a piece of spaghetti!