Beetroot and chocolate tray bake
- September 2017
- Makes 20-25 squares
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 30 min, plus cooling
Beetroot is the shining star in this take on a chocolate tray bake. Its earthiness complements the sweetness of the chocolate, creating something wonderful.
- 11.9g (7.1g saturated)
- 37.3g (28.2g sugars)
- 100g unsalted butter
- 100g good quality plain chocolate (70-72% cocoa solids)
- 225g plain flour
- 150g light brown soft sugar
- 11/2 tsp baking powder
- 30g cocoa powder
- 1 large beetroot, peeled and grated
- 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 4 tbsp soured cream
For the candied beetroot slices
- 150g caster sugar or soft brown sugar
- 100ml water
- 1 large beetroot, thinly sliced
For the topping
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp soured cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
You’ll also need…
- 23cm square baking tin, fully lined with non-stick baking paper
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Melt the butter and plain chocolate together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl). Stir briefly to combine, then set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and cocoa in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, combine the grated beetroot, eggs, soured cream and the melted chocolate mixture. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat briefly until just combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin, then bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen and the top feels springy to the touch. Cool slightly in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the candied beetroot, put the sugar and water in a wide pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the beetroot slices, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beetroot slices and lay out on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Leave to cool. Reserve a little of the syrup to use as a drizzle (optional).
- To make the topping, put the butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat together until pale and creamy. Mix in the soured cream and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the cooled cake, then arrange the cooled beetroot slices on top. Drizzle a little of the reserved syrup over the cake just before serving, if you like.
This tray bake is best made with a dark chocolate that melts easily and doesn’t taste too bitter. Try Green & Black’s Cooking Chocolate or Waitrose Continental Plain chocolate.
Wear rubber gloves when peeling and grating the beetroot to prevent your hands from becoming stained.
The cake will keep well in a sealed container for 2-3 days. Or freeze in portions (without the candied beetroot).
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