There seems to be a lot of sweet baking recipes that have a vegetable thrown into the ingredients list. The most obvious is the classic carrot cake. I refused to eat this when I was younger because of the carrot component. Who wants to eat a cake that tastes of carrot? But once I tried a slice I realised how wrong I was and this has now become one of my favourite cakes. Now I’ve seen (and tried) cakes made using courgettes and sweet potatoes. I’ve recently seen avocado being used but have not yet tried one of these. One cake that I have been wanting to try is beetroot chocolate cake. I have seen this colourful vegetable used in brownie recipes, cupcakes recipes and more recently as a traybake. After watching an episode of ‘The Great Sport Relief Bake Off’ I knew I needed to make Mary Berry’s technical challenge so we could try it at work.
What’s the purpose of adding the vegetable? Does it cut down on the use of fat or sugar? After looking at the recipe, I don’t think it does. Sure, it makes the cake lovely and moist but I would have thought it would be a ‘healthier’ bake. But this didn’t stop me from making it, I was too curious as to what it would be like.
Making the recipe. Now, I like a recipe that uses the minimum amount of bowls and utensils. This recipe didn’t meet the criteria. It required the use of FOUR different bowls (and I didn’t even follow the full recipe). I managed to drop my tub of cocoa powder on the floor which meant that, having needing to clean the mess up, it took me almost an hour to get the cake in the oven. Now, I normally wouldn’t mind if it was a slightly complicated bake. But this wasn’t. It was just a traybake. I made the cream cheese frosting (this was very tasty) but didn’t bother with the beetroot heart decoration. I dusted with cocoa powder instead.
The eat. Don’t get me wrong, the traybake was nice. The beetroot had kept the texture moist and the frosting complimented the flavour well. But it didn’t have the promised richness or the wow factor you would want for a special occasion. I mean, if you wanted to have some cake without too much guilt, this would be the right choice. But if you want a rich, chocolate cake, go elsewhere. This Gimme S’more cake from Home Sweet Home in Manchester is what you need.