This week for the #greatbloggersbakeoff I was excited to try and make a vegetable cake as my middle child is currently on a dairy-free diet and this fitted the bill perfectly! The dietician recommended a chocolate and beetroot cake and as this recipe had ground almonds in it as well it was another way of getting my son to eat some foods he probably, in any other circumstance, wouldn’t touch! I found this recipe on delicious magazine.co.uk and changed it slightly. The recipe called for raw beetroot which I could not find, and the icing contained sour cream, which isn’t dairy-free, so I made a buttercream icing with dairy-free spread instead. My son randomly wanted me to make it into the shape of a vacuum cleaner, but I’m afraid I wasn’t that brave!
Here is the recipe for this week…
250g dairy-free plain chocolate, broken up
3 large free-range eggs
200g light muscovado sugar
100ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
150g cooked beetroot (original recipe said 250g raw beetroot)
For the icing
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease a 22cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin with a little butter and line the base with baking paper.
2. Place the plain chocolate in a bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt slowly until smooth, then set aside to cool.
3. Place the eggs, sugar and sunflower oil in a large mixing bowl and whisk together, using an electric hand whisk, (I did this by hand as I have no electric whisk!) for about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla extract, then sift over self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and gently fold in, together with the ground almonds.
4. Using a pair of rubber gloves to protect your fingers from staining, peel and grate the beetroot, then squeeze out the excess liquid. Fold the beetroot into the mixture with the cooled chocolate, until thoroughly mixed.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour. Cover with foil if the cake browns too quickly. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean. Cool for a little while, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
6. For the icing, place 150g plain chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow to melt gently until smooth. Set aside to cool, then beat in icing sugar and Pure spread until you have a thick, creamy and spreadable icing. Spread it over the top of the cooled cake. I didn’t have enough to spread over the sides as well so I used a ready made sorry icing which was also dairy-free. I added Sainsbury’s dairy-free buttons to decorate the top. If I’d had enough I might have though about doing the sides as well! And there you have it, a delicious chocolatey dairy-free cake!