About this recipe:The beetroot is not madness, it provides alot of moisture and tastes delicious. Leave yourself plenty of time to make this cake because it is quite a lengthy recipe. The cake is best eaten when it is still slightly warm. It is also really important to ice it at the last minute or the icing can lose its shine.
250g good-quality dark chocolate
3 medium eggs
250g light muscovado sugar
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons honey
40g self-raising flour
40g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
25g cocoa powder
50g ground almonds
250g raw beetroot, peeled and finely grated
100ml strong black coffee
30ml sunflower oil
For the icing
150g good-quality dark chocolate
3 tablespoons strong black coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons honey
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:2hr › Ready in:2hr30min
Preheat a conventional oven to 160ºC, or a fan-assisted one to 140ºC. With the help of a brush and a tiny bit of sunflower oil, grease the surface of a round 20cm diameter by 8cm high loose-bottomed tin and set aside.
Melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until all dissolved, then set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, the scraped-out vanilla seeds, the syrup and the honey for three minutes with an electric hand whisk until pale and quite fluffy.
Gently fold in the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa and ground almonds until fully incorporated.
Using some kitchen paper, dab the grated beetroot thoroughly to remove some of the excess moisture. Fold in the beetroot, cooled chocolate, coffee and oil with the help of a spatula until thoroughly mixed together.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook in the middle of the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. After this time, cover the cake with foil and bake for another 30 minutes.
Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean (although this cake is so moist that even when the cake is fully cooked, the skewer comes out looking slightly messy). Leave to cool on a wire rack.
To make the fudge icing; melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then remove from the heat and add the coffee and the vanilla essence.
At this stage the chocolate will seize up slightly, but it will relax back once you add the honey and gently mix in.
Set aside to cool for 15 minutes before icing the cake. Cut the cake through the middle and ice it in the centre and on all sides.
This is a really lovely cake - very moist and delicious. However, I baked it in a savarin as in the photograph and after 2.5 hour baking it still hadn't baked through in the bottom. Result - half of the cake left stuck in the bottom of the mould. I will definitely try again but maybe in a standard round cake tin. - 14 Oct 2012