Yields one 20cm cake.
- Prep time: 20min
- Cook time: 40min
- Total time: 1h
- Difficulty: Intermediate
This moist and decadent chocolate cake was inspired by David Lebovitz, but it first appeared in Nigel Slater’s book Tender. The cake is dense but not overly sweet. Use good quality chocolate with at least 60-70% cacao solids for the best results. Although candied beets are optional, I thought they added a nice finishing touch to the cake. It also adds color and makes it more visually appealing. Serve with mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche on top.
For the chocolate beet cake.
- 200g bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao solids), chopped
- 60ml hot espresso (or water)
- 200g butter (at room temperature), cubed
- 240g cooked beets, pureed
- 5 large eggs, separated
- pinch of salt
- 200g superfine sugar (castor sugar)
- 135g flour
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- some mascarpone cheese, to serve
Butter and line the bottom of a 20 cm springform pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Melt the chocolate in a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring as little as possible. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl in the warm water. Pour in the hot espresso and stir to combine. Then, gently press the butter pieces into the chocolate. Allow the butter to soften without stirring for a few minutes.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Remove the chocolate bowl from the heat and stir until the butter is completely melted. Allow to cool for a few minutes before whisking the egg yolks into the melted chocolate mixture. Incorporate the pureed beets.
In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. With a spatula, gradually fold the sugar into the whipped egg whites, then fold them into the melted chocolate mixture, being careful not to overmix. Incorporate the flour and cocoa powder. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C after scraping the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the sides are firm but the center is still shaky. Do not overcook. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan.
For the candied beets.
- 2 cooked beets, sliced thinly
- 150ml water
- 150g sugar
Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the beets. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes. Place the beets on a baking sheet and bake for an hour, or until firm. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Keep it in an airtight container.
Also known as Čokoladni Kolač S Ciklom.
I can’t think of a better way to get through the long, cold winter than with chocolate. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot chocolate, truffles, chocolate cookies, or a gloriously moist chocolate cake as long as it’s luxurious and sweet and has a calming effect on the mind and soul.
A piece of rich chocolate cake can be extremely relaxing and comforting. I’m at a loss for words. Seeking peace and relief in something simple and basic feels so natural.
That’s all there is to this cake. Don’t be alarmed by the fact that it’s loaded with vegetables. There will be no taste of beetroot. It’s here to add moisture and sweetness to the cake, and it’s doing a fantastic job of it, if I may say so.
I grant you that pairing chocolate and beets is unusual. But believe me when I say that the two were meant to be together. One bite of this fudgy chocolate cake will calm you down and make you forget about your worries.