You may not think that beetroot and chocolate would go together but this has to be tried to be believed – the rich cake goes perfectly with the creamy filling. A great pick for a grown-up birthday cake.
- 3 medium beetroot (approx. 300g)
- 300g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 250ml vegetable oil
- 75g cocoa powder
- 250g self-raising flour
- 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- For the filling:
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 1tbsp cocoa powder, sifted with 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 2tbsp cold milk
- 2 generous tbsp cherry jam
Boil the beetroot in water until it’s tender to the point of a knife, probably about 30 minutes. Drain and allow it to cool for 30 minutes or so, then remove the skin and coarsely grate the beetroot.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4, and prepare two cake tins (20cm in diameter) by lightly buttering them and lining with baking parchment.
Beat the sugar, eggs and oil together, either by hand or in a food processor. Add the grated beetroot and cocoa and blend well. Finally, sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix again. Divide the mixture between the cake tins, smoothing down flat.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cakes feel springy to the touch. Remove from the oven, let them stand for 15 minutes and then gently turn out on to a wire rack.
While the cakes cool, make the butter-cream filling. Beat the butter, sugar and cocoa together, then drizzle in the milk and beat some more. Add a little more milk if you think it’s needed: you want the filling to be very smooth and to hold its shape.
When the cakes are completely cold, lay each one flat side up. Spread one with the butter cream and the other with cherry jam, then sandwich the two together. It’s always a bonus when the cream and jam ooze out of the sides a little. Finally, generously dust the top with icing sugar.
This cake should keep for up to a week in an air-tight container