Yields one 20cm cake.
- Prep time: 20min
- Cook time: 40min
- Total time: 1h
- Difficulty: Intermediate
This moist and luxorious chocolate cake was adapted from David Lebovitz, but it originally appeared in Nigel Slater’s book Tender. The cake is rich, but not too sweet. For best results use good quality chocolate that is at least 60-70% cacao solids. Candied beets is optional, but I thought it made a nice finishing touch on the cake. It also gives it some color and makes it visually more interesting. Serve with a dollop of mascarpone cheese or some crème fraîche.
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 a 20 cm springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring as little as possible. Turn off the heat but leave the bowl over the warm water. Pour in the hot espresso and stir. Then add the butter pieces and press them into the chocolate gently. Allow the butter to soften without stirring.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a separate bowl. Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until the butter is melted. Let sit for a few minutes to cool, then stir the egg yolks together and briskly stir them into the melted chocolate mixture. Fold in the pureed beets.
In a stand mixer whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Gradually fold the sugar into the whipped egg whites with a spatula, then fold them into the melted chocolate mixture, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.
Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and reduce the heat of the oven to 160°C. Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until the sides are just set but the center is still is just a bit wobbly. Do not overbake. Let cake cool completely, then remove it from the pan.
For the candied beets.
- 2 cooked beets, sliced thinly
- 150ml water
- 150g sugar
Preheat the oven to 100°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add beets. Let it soak for 30 minutes. Transfer the beets to a baking sheet and bake until firm, about an hour. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Also known as Čokoladni Kolač S Ciklom.
I can’t imagine a better way to live through a harsh and cold winter season than indulging in chocolate. Hot chocolate, chocolate truffles, chocolate cookies or a gloriously moist chocolate cake, it doesn’t really matter. As long as it’s luxurious and sweet with a soothing and calming effect on the mind and soul.
There is something incredibly relaxing and comforting in a piece of rich chocolate cake. I cannot explain it. It just feels so natural to seek peace and relief in something as simple and basic.
This cake really is as simple as that. Do not be alarmed by the fact it’s packed full of vegetables. You will not taste beetroot at all. It is here to add moisture and sweetness to the cake and it’s doing a hell of a good job, if I may add.
Pairing chocolate and beets may seem a bit strange, I give you that. But, trust me, the two were meant to go together. One bite of this fudgy chocolate cake will reassure you make you forget all your troubles.