Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe

Moist Chocolate Beetroot Cake

This extremely moist chocolate sponge cake recipe with beetroot is a perfect tea-time treat. It's certainly one of the best moist chocolate cake recipes I have ever tried although somewhat unusual. Chocolate Beetroot cake has a gorgeous deep chocolatey, burgundy colour and the creme fraiche is a perfect topping.

Use raw beetroot as you would use raw carrot in a classic carrot cake, you'll hardly notice the beetroot taste with all the chocolate and cocoa. Just don't use pickled beetroot. The raw breetroot is full of soluble fibre so I suppose it does add a "healthier" element to indulging in chocolate sponge cake - if that's possible.

A Little Effort Pays A lot Of Chocolatey Dividends

chocolate beetroot cake

It certainly isn't a "quick and easy" chocolate sponge cake recipe - there is a fair bit of extra preparation with the cooking of the beets and the melting of the chocolate etc.

Be sure to read through the recipe a few times as it does require quite a bit of planning and measuring. The better prepared you are, the smoother the baking proces will be with less room for error and wasting of ingredients.

Chocolate Beetroot Sponge Cake Ingredients

  • 2 large (about 250g) beetroot
  • 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) broken into pieces
  • 200g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 tbsp hot espresso
  • 135g plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp good-quality cocoa powder
  • 5 medium free-range eggs
  • 190g golden castor sugar
  • Creme fraiche to serve

How to Make Chocolate Beetroot Cake

  1. Lightly grease a 20cm loose-bottomed (spring-form) cake tin and base-line with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180 C/160 fan/Gas 4.

  2. The first step is to cook the beets. Leave the beetroot whole and unpeeled and cook in a pan of boiling unsalted water. The beetroot should be knifepoint-tender within 30 - 40 minutes. Drain the beetroot and let them cool by placing them under running water. Then peel them (with rubber gloves on), slice off the stems and roots, and blitz in a food processor to a coarse puree.

  3. Melt the chocolate in a big heatproof bowl resting over a pan of simmering water. Resist the temptation to stir. When the chocolate has almost melted, pour the coffee over and stir once. Cut the butter into very small pieces and add to the melted chocolate. Leave to soften without stirring.

  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa and set aside. Separate the eggs. Place the whites in a large mixing bowl. Lightly beat the yolks. Working quickly but gently, remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until the butter has melted into the chocolate. Leave for a few minutes to cool slightly. Stir in the egg yolks quickly, mixing firmly and evenly so the eggs blend into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the beetroot.

  5. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gently fold in the sugar. Firmly but tenderly fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate-beetroot mixture. Use a large metal spoon and work in a deep, figure-of-eight movement, but be careful not to overmix.

  6. Lastly, fold in the flour and cocoa. Quickly pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place in into the oven, turning the heat down immediately to 160 C/fan 140 C/gas 3. Bake for 40 minutes. The rim of the cake will feel spongy, the inner part should still wobble a little when gently shaken.

  7. Leave to cool (it will sink a tad in the centre). Slide a knife around the edges to loosen the beetroot cake after 30 minutes or so. Leave the cake in its tin until it is completely cold. Serve moist chocolate beetroot cake slices, with creme fraiche.

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