Food and Cooking

Vegan chocolate and beetroot cake

This tasty coffee, chocolate and beetroot cake is deliciously rich and also happens to be vegan.

For the cake
65ml/2½fl oz strong coffee
70g/2½oz coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
280g/10oz raw beetroot, peeled and sliced
220ml/8fl oz almond milk, gently warmed
200g/7oz sugar
85g/3oz cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
160g/5¾oz plain flour
For the chocolate ganache
100g/3½oz dark vegan chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids, broken into small pieces
100ml/3½fl oz full-fat coconut milk
For the candied beetroots
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
150ml/5fl oz maple syrup
pinch sea salt (or 2 pinches if preferred)
2 cooked beetroots, peeled and diced
To garnish
200ml/7fl oz water
200g/7oz caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
1 Heritage beetroot yellow and 1 cook beetroot, peeled and sliced
50g/1¾oz desiccated coconut, toasted
2 sprigs fresh mint
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and grease and line a 900g/2lb cake tin with baking paper. Pour the coffee over the coconut oil in a bowl to melt it. Place the beetroot in a blender with the coffee mixture and almond milk. Blend until the mixture is smooth and there are no pieces of beetroot left.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and flour in three batches. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients after each batch, by making small circles in the middle of the bowl with a spoon to minimise lumps.

Transfer the mixture to the tin and bake for about 55–60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean of cake crumbs. Leave to cool completely before icing.

To make the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate in a large bowl. Warm the coconut milk in a small saucepan until almost boiling. Pour the hot coconut milk over the chopped chocolate and leave for 5–10 minutes – do not stir straight away. Stir the chocolate gently until combined with the coconut milk into a smooth and glossy chocolate ganache.

To make the candied beetroots, heat the vanilla, maple syrup and salt in a saucepan. Add the beetroot and cook until the beetroot is covered in a reduced, sticky glaze.

Place the water, sugar and vanilla seeds into a medium saucepan and heat until the sugar has melted. Add the yellow and candied beetroot and cook for 2–3 minutes. Pour the ganache over the cooked cooled cake. Garnish beetroots, coconut and mint.

Source: BBC Cooking