This cake is one of the first cakes I started making when I got into baking. It is like a carrot cake, but made with beetroot so is prettier (and also a lot messier!). I now grate the beetroot in my food processor as it's a lot quicker and cleaner, but before I had a food processor grating it by hand would result in the kitchen looking like the scene of a massacre. Yet I still carried on making it, especially for Easter for my family get together. My cousin especially is a fan of it and whenever I make other cakes he alwaysalways mentioned the famous beetroot cake. He turned 30 last weekend so I made this cake for him.
Phwoar. It is so so good. The cake also has crunchy bits of roasted hazelnuts in it and the frosting is a delicious vanilla cream cheese icing - full fat of course.
150g raw beetroot, grated
200ml groundnut oil
250g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, separated
3 tablespoons of milk
100g hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
200g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg
For the frosting:
450g cream cheese (the recipe says low-fat but I prefer to use full fat - no point in trying to be virtuous when you're eating cake!)
150g icing sugar
180g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sugar flowers to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 170c fan/190c/gas mark 5 and butter and line two 20cm cake tins. Place 1 teaspoon of the grated beetroot in a small bowl and cover with 2 teaspoons boiling water and set aside (This is for colouring the frosting later).
2. Whisk the oil and caster sugar in a large bowl, then whisk in the eggs yolks and milk. Add in the remaining beetroot and nuts. Add the flour and baking powder to the mixture and stir until combined. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff, then fold into the cake mixture in 3 goes. Divide between the two tins and bake for about 30 minutes or until a fork comes out of the cakes clean. Leave to cool in the tins for a bit, then turn out on to a cooling rack.
3. For the frosting, combine the icing sugar and butter in a food processor. Add in the cream cheese, food colouring and vanilla extract and pulse until fully combined.
4. When the cake is fully cooled, ice the cake. The cake is a very soft moist cake, so I do a thin crumb layer first to trap all of the crumbs inside and leave to cool in the fridge. Then when it is set add another layer of icing and decorate with sugar flowers.