Now is the season for fresh beetroot, so here is a beetroot cake recipe, from Nigel Slater’s wonderful book, Tender vol. 1.
It’s a bit like a carrot cake, only with grated beetroot instead. The beetroot is quite discreet, and the cake went down well with the beetroot-hater in my house. It uses oil instead of butter, so it’s also dairy free. A cake I make often.
BEETROOT SEED CAKE (serves 8 – 10)
- self-raising flour, 225g
- bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp
- baking powder, a scant tsp
- ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp
- sunflower oil, 180 ml
- light muscovado sugar, 225g
- eggs, 3, separated
- raw beetroot, 150g
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- sultanas or raisins, 75g
- mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame or linseed) 75g
for the icing
- icing sugar, 8 TBS
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Heat the oven to 180 C/Gas 4.
- Lightly butter a large loaf tin (20 x 9cm measured across the bottom, and 7 cm deep), then line the base with greaseproof paper.
- Sift together the flour, soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Coarsely grate the beetroot.
- Beat the oil and sugar together, using a hand held blender, until well creamed. Add the egg yolk one by one, and continue to beat.
- Fold the beetroot into the mixture, then add the lemon juice, sultanas or raisins and the mixed seeds.
- Fold in the flour and raising agents.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until light and almost stiff. Fold gently but thoroughly into the mixture, using a large metal spoon (a wooden one will knock the air out). Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 50 – 55 minutes, covering the top with a piece of foil after 30 minutes. Test with a skewer for doneness. The cake should be moist inside but not sticky. Leave the cake to settle for a good twenty minutes before turning it out of its tin onto a wire cooling rack.
- To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add enough lemon juice to achieve a consistency where the icing will run over the top of the cake and drizzle slowly down the sides. Drizzle it over the cake, and leave to set before eating.
Note: Nigel says to scatter poppy seeds over the top, but I don’t.