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Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Everyone should have at least one decent chocolate cake recipe up their sleeve. See what you think of this one.

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

A good chocolate cake is priceless. I’d pay anything for a moist, rich chocolaty slice of divinity. But a chocolate cake needs to have more than one dimension of flavour going on or it can get a little boring, mouthful after mouthful. You need the rich bitter chocolate and a good level of sweetness, but not too sweet or it can take over all the other flavours. There needs to be at least another dimension going on; perhaps chilli for spiciness and warmth, or cinnamon for spicy earthiness, or vanilla for sweet woodiness. If you layer up the flavours, it can be something quite special.

Here the soft fluffiness of the ganache contrasts with the moist bread-like texture of the cake. A hint of balsamic vinegar adds depth and curiosity to the ganache and the raw beetroot in the cake mix adds moisture and goodness. There’s nothing hippie about this cake. It’s just pure, rich indulgence.

Makes 12 pieces

Cake mix
3 cups coconut sugar
150ml almond or macadamia oil
600g spelt (white) flour or gluten-free flour of your choice
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
850–900ml  1/2 water and 1/2 soya milk (or milk of your choosing)
8 tsp baking powder, aluminium and gluten-free
2 tsp vanilla paste
2 cups grated beetroot, loosely packed

Chocolate ganache
300g 70% dark chocolate, shaved
300ml coconut cream or milk
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
Pinch good salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place a round 25cm springform cake tin on baking paper. Trace the base of the tin and cut out the circle. Then cut wide strips for sides so they measure higher than the rim of the tin. Line tin.

Beat the sugar and the oil together until combined. Add the rest of the ingredients and gently beat for 5 minutes, aerating the mixture to create lightness. Pour the batter into the tin and place in the hot oven, on the middle rung. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the sides of the cake have pulled away from the edges. Stick a skewer into the centre of the cake to ensure it’s cooked. The skewer should come out moist but clean, with no cake stuck to it. Only do this after 50 minutes to 1 hour and not before, as you risk collapsing the cake!

Once cooked, remove cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the tin and place a cooling rack on the top of the cake and flip it over gently (a flat baking tray will do). Remove the base of the cake tin and flip gently so the cake is upright once again. Allow to fully cool, then ice with the ganache.

To make the ganache

Melt the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl sitting over a saucepan of boiling water.

Ensure the bowl sits over the rim of the saucepan so no steam can escape and spoil the chocolate. Once chocolate has just melted, remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients and whisk until blended. Place in the fridge for 30–40 minutes or until ganache has begun to stiffen.

Once ganache has cooled and is slightly stiff, pour evenly over the cake, covering the sides as well, using a flat spatula. Place in the fridge for ganache to fully set.

Eat with friends on a picnic rug, under a shady tree, with a mug of hot dandy or chai tea!

This is an edited extract from PASSION: organic vegan recipes to live for by Anthea Amore. Available from the website here, or available in select book shops and health food stores across Australia.

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