Chocolate and beetroot is a match made in heaven; there is an earthy sweetness to beetroot that adds a natural sugar note to the denser chocolate flavours. This cake has become one of the biggest hits in the café, as it is dense and rich but full of goodness; a small slice goes a long way!
1 x 24cm (9”) round cake tin – lined with baking paper
Set the oven to 170°C / 340°F / Gas Mark 4
600g (4 1/2 cups) cooked and pureed beetroot
500g (3 cups) roughly chopped, pitted dates
120g (1 cup) 100% cocoa powder
100ml (3/8 cup) warm, melted coconut oil
150g (1 1/4 cups) ground almonds
2 tbsp baking powder
A little coconut milk (if necessary)
Coconut nectar (for extra sweetness if needed)
Start by cooking the beetroot. I find that pureed beetroot is a great staple to have in the fridge, great in salad dressings, to make a quick soup and obviously for baking. Cut the beets into large chunks (no need to peel) and bring to the boil in plenty of water, cook until very soft. Rinse in cold water, the peel should now slide off, and puree. Pop the puree into a tub and keep in the fridge.
While the beetroot is cooking, pop the pitted dates into a small pan, cover in water and bringing up to a simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until they start to swell and soften. Drain off and reserve the majority of the liquid (this can be used to sweeten other dishes), puree the cooked dates until smooth.
Beat together the beetroot, dates and cocoa powder. Stir in the warmed coconut oil (note that it must be warm otherwise it will solidify into small lumps on contact with any cold ingredients) followed by the eggs. Lastly, beat in the almond flour and baking powder until smooth. The mixture should be a soft, spoon-able texture so add a little coconut milk if it is too stiff. Taste and add coconut nectar, if extra sweetness is needed. Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean (a little gooey is perfect!).
This cake is lovely served warm with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt or cashew cream (see Blog), or cool the cake and ice with chocolate fudge icing (see Blog).