Sunday, 29 July 2012

Beetroot cake

Eeeew... beetroot in cake? The ugly cousin of carrot somehow didn't make it big in the cake world. Both are vegetables, both are roots, both are more or less neutral tasting and have no strong flavours of their own and take up added flavours well. Why then did only carrot cake make it to the chalk boards of many a cafĂ©? Somethings are just unfair. Let this recipe change your initial exclamation.

As opposed to plain flour cakes which are more spongy, vegetable and fruit cakes are generally a little crumbly due to the water content in the fruits and vegetables. They pair well with ice cream as a dessert and also are more suitable for drizzling a glaze on them rather than layering and frosting. This cake is no exception. I have not done any glaze on this one. But I will include it in the recipe should you want to try it.

This recipe yields a loaf of 8"x 4.5". You will need

3/4 cup finely grated Beetroot
2 Eggs
1/3 cup unsalted Butter
2 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Milk/pouring Cream/plain Yogurt.
1/2  Vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract or essence
1 cup White cake Flour (maida)
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt

Leave the butter out in the bowl you plan to mix your batter in while you grate the beetroot and measure out other ingredients. Scrape out the vanilla pod if using. Grease and flour the cake pan.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder and keep aside. Pour the olive oil over the butter and cream the butter with a whisk (or electric mixer) until fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk again until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs one at a time mixing between each addition. Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately in three additions starting and ending with the flour. Your cake batter minus the beetroot is now ready.

A note on the beetroot at this point is in place. You have a choice to make here. You can add the grated beetroot as such or saute it in a little butter before adding it. Sauteing the beetroot beforehand will remove excess water from it and hence improve the texture of the cake. I however didn't bother with this, as I am not much for cooking the beetroot twice; once while sauteing and then again in the oven, which would make it nutritionally null and void. I'd rather have a little crumblier cake than eat beetroot just for its colour. So if you have guests and want to make a better presentation, by all means saute the beetroot in a bit of butter until any oozed juices have evaporated. If sauteing, do it right in the beginning and let it cool down before adding it to the batter else the beetroot will cook the eggs as you add.

So, stir in the beetroot with a rubber spatula, not an electric whisk; the whisk will catch the beetroot shreds and fling around cake batter creating beetroot graffiti in your kitchen! Mix it gently, you can leave a bit of white batter marbled here and there. Pour into the cake pan. Smooth the top and pop into an oven preheated to 180 degrees Celsius. Baking time will be more for raw beetroot than for sauted. Bake for about 25 to 40 mins depending on your oven. A toothpick inserted in the middle that comes out clean indicates that the cake is done. Run a knife around the edges and invert cake pan to remove the cake.

If glazing, a lemon glaze works well. Take about three to four tablespoons of icing sugar and add the juice of one lemon to make a paste. Add water as necessary to get a thick syrupy pouring consistence. Drizzle over the warm cake. Cool the cake on a wire rack before slicing.

1 comment:

  1. I recommend trying a chocolate beetroot cake, and a zucchini cake, or a pumpkin cake. All of them are absolutely fantastic! And what a great way to eat veges!