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The beetroot in this dairy-free cake makes it incredibly moist - and gives the glaze a dazzling colour. The lime juice adds a zingy contrast to the earthy sweetness of the cake. It has gone down a storm at recent events.
This recipe makes enough for two 20cm round cakes or one 20cm x 30cm rectangular cake. It will keep well for a few days in an airtight tin - though it rarely has a chance to last that long!
Cooking the beets in advance saves a lot of time. Once boiled or roasted, they will keep for a day or two in the fridge, until you're ready to start baking.
400g beetroot, scrubbed but with skin on
50g unsweetened chocolate
300g caster sugar
220ml vegetable oil
3 large whole eggs (or 4 medium), lightly beaten
200g plain flour
1 and 1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate
25g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the glaze:
75g icing sugar, sifted
Juice of half a lime
1 tbs reserved beet puree
Boil, steam or roast the beetroot with their skins on until cooked, about 30 to 50 minutes (depending on size). Allow to cool, then slip the skins off.
Preheat the oven to 180C with a rack in the central position. Grease and line your baking tin/s and set aside.
Use a stick blender or small food processor to puree the beets until very smooth. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the puree for the glaze. Break up the chocolate and melt in a microwave or in a bowl over hot water.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil and eggs. Beat for a couple of minutes until smooth. Add the beet puree, cooled melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed until well mixed and smooth. Mix together the flour, sodium bicarb, cocoa powder and salt. Sift and fold gently into the cake mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to mix really well.
Transfer to the greased cake tin/s and bake until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes or so. Tip the cake out onto the rack and allow to cool completely before glazing.
In a small bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, lime juice and enough of the reserved beet puree to make it a gleaming pink colour. If the glaze is too thick, add a few drops of water until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle from a spoon. Drizzle over the cooled cake and allow the glaze to set before serving.