This cake is moist, not too sweet, with lovely depth and subtle earthiness. If you didn’t tell anyone that beetroot is an ingredient they’d be none the wiser.  A dollop of crème fraiche always compliments beetroot, but if you’d like to go completely dairy free, serve with coconut yoghurt.

makes a 20cm round cake

125ml extra virgin olive oil (we recommend Cape Schanck Olive Estate’s Leccino or Picual)

125ml honey

3 XL Yokey Dokey eggs, separated

200g cooked beetroot, pureed (about 2 medium beetroot) see note*

zest of a lemon

1½ tablespoons lemon juice

100g (2/3 cups) Tuerong Farm Lancer Winter White stoneground flour

100g (1 cup) almond meal

1½ teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or Dutch cocoa powder)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon allspice ground ginger

Preheat oven to 180°C.  Lightly grease and line base of a 20cm round cake with baking paper.

Using electric mixer, beat honey and oil together for a minute.  Add the egg yolks one at a time beating well after each addition.  Add the beetroot puree, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until well combined.  Sift the flour, almond meal, spices, salt and cacao over the mixture.   Fold in to combine well.  Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold in the egg whites into beetroot mixture to just combine 

Spoon mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 45 minutes, covering cake tin loosely with a piece of foil after 30 minutes to prevent burning surface. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre of cake comes out clean. 

Cool for 10 minutes in tin.  Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Serve with crème fraiche, or for a dairy free option use coconut yoghurt.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve at room temperature.

*cooking note – Cover beetroot with cold water in a saucepan and bring to a high simmer.  Add extra boiling water if necessary to keep beetroot covered.  Cook for 30 to 50 minutes, until tender when a sharp knife is inserted.  Drain well and leave until cool enough to handle.  Remove skin, roughly chop beetroot and puree in a blender.  Measure 200g of puree (about 1 cup).

Fiona Hammond © April 2019 

Mark Brancatisano