So I am now on an official count down before finishing work and starting my new dream job at Le Creuset, counting down the minutes before I will be spending my days surrounded by casserole dishes and baking tins *swoon*. I have been feeling super smug with myself for actually changing something I was unhappy with and gaining a new job so I thought I would reflect this in the kitchen too and take on a challenge, something I generally avoid baking and pushing my cake boundaries to the absolute limit (drama queen or what?). And what cake are you taking on I hear you scream. Chocolate cake. Yes my dears, chocolate cake is my nemesis. For those keen readers amongst you, yes I have posted a chocolate cake recipe before but that was only because I was trying to fit in. What cake blog do you see that doesn’t offer the worlds best chocolate cake? I don’t want to be the odd one out… I think my problem began when I was served way too many slices of shop bought chocolate cakes to celebrate friends/ work colleagues birthdays or weddings. I tarred all choccy cake with the same brush and made a sweeping generalisation that most choccy cake was pants. And I don’t want to make pants cakes so I just never really bothered baking it, I hate a baking disaster. It is v rare to find a good one and quite frankly not worth the risk. When given the option of that or a moist flavoursome carrot cake, swear down, no competition, carrot cake every time. For me a good choccy cake needs to be indulgent, taste of rich chocolate (not powdery wishy washy cocoa powder) and melt in the mouth. I had yet to find a cake to meet my requirements until now (cue fireworks and the brass band). And what makes it so darn shamazing?! Beetroot! Yes my dears, beetroot. The delectable superfood! Plus using yogurt and a good quality chocolate (I used an 85% cocoa for a more intense flavour). All these combined make for the most delicious, moist, chocolate cake that is also one of your five a day (no guilt so you can eat twice as much). This actually gets better with time so by day two or three it will be at its most glorious. The cream cheese icing compliments the rich chocolate sponge perfectly! This is not a light and airy cake, this is serious gooey indulgence.
Beetroot chocolate cake with vanilla cream cheese icing
- 250g butter
- 200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), broken into chunks
- 500g plain flour
- 500g light brown muscavado sugar
- 3 tbsp cacoa powder (or cocoa but cacao is more intense flavour)
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 200g full fat natural yogurt
- 400g cooked beetroot in natural juices (not vinegar)
Vanilla cream cheese icing
- 200g full-fat soft cheese, at room temperature
- 250g butter, softened
- 400g icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Heat oven to 180 degrees. Make the first batch of sponges by greasing and lining 2 x 20cm round tins (I only had 22cm tins so if you have larger tins, divide the ingredients by 3 and do 3 separate sponges, or if you have three 22cm tins, do the cakes in one big batch).
2. Gently melt half the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Mix half the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and ¼ tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.
3. Whizz half the eggs and half the yogurt and beetroot in a food processor or blender until fairly smooth. Put the kettle on.
4. Tip the beetroot mix into the dry ingredients along with the melted chocolate mixture and 150ml boiling water (or 100ml per layer if doing three sponge layers), then stir to combine. Divide the mixture between the tins.
5. Bake for 20-25 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Repeat Steps 1 to 5 to make 2 more sponges if doing 20cm cakes
7. To make the frosting, briefly beat together the soft cheese and butter, then beat in the icing sugar and vanilla. Use a little to sandwich the cooled cakes together, then swirl the rest all over the sandwiched cakes and decorate