Almost nothing beets a good slice of cake. Especially if it happens to follow a hard-yakka session in the garden with an eccentric bunch of keen-bean kids.
Every Tuesday afternoon at four bells, my calloused and cussed-out Growers Society would flood into the science lab in anticipation of the much awaited afternoon tea session. Mouths at the ready, the gang would sit restlessly at our makeshift dining table awaiting their chance to devour yet another of my mystery-ingredient creations. Since their only other sustenance for the day came in the form of a rather stodgy free-school-meal, I could disguise just about any veggie in a cake-batter costume and my hungry hoard would still come back for second, third and fourth helpings. Whilst courgettes, sweet potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and even nettles, all rated highly in the sugar-hit-chart stakes, it was the Beetroot and Chocolate Cake that the crowds repeatedly rooted for as their heart stopping favourite. Since its debut, this eye catching delight has wowed many a guest at birthday parties. It has also proved popular at the Election Day cake stall in it’s doppleganging cup cake form: ‘Late and B’Rootal Campaign Cakes.
After a morning heaving-hoe at yesterdays’ monthly community garden working bee, it was time to celebrate the beginnings of the summer gardening season. A fortuitous garden find and some bake time later and K1 and I were almed with yet another B’Rootal ‘Latebour of Love Cake for a friends Day-Light-Savings Sizzle and Playdate.
B’Rootal ‘Latebour of Love (Beetroot and Chocolate) Cake
1 cup puree’d beets (see method below)
100 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grnd cinnamon
1 tsp grnd ginger (optional)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp grnd cloves
½ cup coconut flour
½ cup banana or rice flour
½ cup wheat flour
¼ cup cacao powder
½ – ¾ cup milk
Labne and Chocolate Icing (optional):
1 c labne (made from straining 1 ½ cups pot set yoghurt overnight)
2 tbs cacao
3 tbs pure icing sugar
Prepare beets (approximately two medium sized) by cutting them in half and simmering for ½ hour or until the skins pull away from the root. Strain. Rinse under cold water. When cool enough, remove skins and puree’.
Cream butter and sugar. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Using a large spatula, stir in vanilla, beets and chocolate. Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Mix thoroughly. Alternate between adding the milk and dry ingredients one third at a time. Mix thoroughly after each addition. Continue to stir in more milk until the batter reaches a thick but not runny consistency (it should hold together when scooped out with a spoon). Cook at 160 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Whisk all icing ingredients together in a bowl. Ice when cool.