I’ve finally managed to go back to reading. When I was younger books were my favourite way of entertainment, but then there was no internet, so it was just easier not to get distracted. Nowadays I spend too much time looking at Facebook timeline, where nothing interesting happens and it is so easy to forget why you should read good books. Our holidays helped me to go back on track. I’ve read a book and half and I’m proud of it. “The Book Thief” is one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a while, if not in a lifetime. You should definitely read it, I’m not sure about the movie, as I’ve heard a review on the radio that entirely discouraged me from it. It’s heartbreaking, but beautiful at the same time. Now I’m reading “The Goldfinch” and listening to an audiobook “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and it’s amazing, I feel like living in alternative locations. I’m at the same time in Amsterdam and in Stockholm. I smell coffee poured into a thermos (that seems like a Swedish thing), I walk along dark and dodgy streets, I see things I would prefer not to see, but also smile listening about my favourite characters. I’ve got so drawn into the stories that I even dreamt about the characters.
So that’s my life, I also baked a cake lately, actually two, but that one I want to share with you. I like recipes calling for veggies, as this makes cakes guilt-free, as it is your five-a-day, isn’t it? I tried already cakes with courgettes, pumpkin and carrots, but that’s the first one with beetroots. It’s a good, simple recipe, it’s very moist, but you can control that leaving it for longer, if you want to.
Moist beetroot chocolate cake
Adapted from Nigel Slater
For 20-cm spring pan
- 250g beetroot, cooked or roasted and peeled
- 200g dark chocolate, chopped roughly
- 4 Tbsp hot espresso
- 200g butter, cubed
- 135g plain flour
- a heaped tsp baking powder
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 5 eggs, yolks and whites separately
- 190g caster sugar
- optional – crème fraîche and poppy seeds, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
Using a food processor roughly puree the beetroots.
Melt the chocolate over a hot-water bath, don’t stir. Once the chocolate is almost melted add in the espresso and stir once. Add in the butter. Dip it into chocolate and let it soften.
Stir together the butter and chocolate until well combined. Leave it to cool for a few minutes.
Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Set aside.
Pour the chocolate into a bigger bowl and quickly stir in yolks. Fold in the beetroot.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the sugar.
Using a metal spoon fold in the egg whites mixture into the chocolate one. Mix until well combined, but try not to overmix. Fold in the flour mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven. Lower the heat to 160°C/140°C fan.
Bake for around 40 minutes, the outer part should be firm, but the middle still wobbly (if you like really moist cakes, otherwise just give it extra 5-10 minutes). Leave it to cool.
You may serve it creme fraiche and poppy seeds, but to be fair that combination doesn’t work for me.