"Food connects people, and the Kitchen is where the magic can happen."
There are days when nothing but a rich, moist chocolate cake will do. I'd been wanting to make a Chocolate Beetroot cake for a while, ever since I went out to coffee with some friends at the Soul Food Market in Mackay, North Queensland, where we had a slice of Chocolate Beetroot cake, which was gluten free, lactose free, sugar free, and perhaps egg free, but not delicious free, because as you have probably already guessed, it is a health food shop and a bulk foods shop, which also specialises in vegetarian foods for dine in or take away. It's an amazing little business tucked away in an unpretentious arcade.
There is always a delicious aroma floating out of the front door, with soups and ratatouilles etc cooking on the stove. One of my friends has allergies to everything it seems, so we chose to eat at the Soul Food Market so that she could enjoy something delicious to eat without any after effects. My Chocolate cake recipe isn't vegetarian or vegan or sugar free but it does contain beetroot, and dark chocolate, both healthy additions, which also makes it exceptionally moist. These comments about the Soul Food Market are purely my own and we all paid for our own morning tea. So here's the recipe my friends, it is adapted from a Taste.com recipe.
Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup (125 ml vegetable oil or light olive oil)
1/2 cup (125 ml) maple syrup
60 g dark chocolate (70 %) chopped
250 g (around 2 cups) raw beetroot, coarsely grated
3 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (225 g) self raising flour or 1 1/2 cups plain flour sifted with 3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup (185 ml) thin cream
150 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 tbsp. maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 160 deg. C.
Grease a 20 cm round cakepan and line with baking paper.
On a low heat, warm the oil in a medium size saucepan, which is large enough to hold all of the ingredients when needed.
Add the brown sugar, maple syrup and chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove saucepan from the heat.
Add the grated beetroot to the pan.
Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and then add them to the saucepan.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder together and stir into the cake and beetroot batter.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 50 minutes - 1 hour or until the mixture pulls away from the side of the tin and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, before turning out and cooking completely.
Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over a low heat.
Stir over a medium-low heat, for 5 minutes, or until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes, when the mixture should thicken slightly, and pour small amounts gradually over the cake. Cover the top of the cake first, and then smooth the ganache around the sides of the cake.
This post is part of the In My Kitchen series hosted by the lovely Sherry from Sherry's Pickings, where we share lots of interesting stories from our kitchens over the last month. Today is the deadline to post so my apologies that this might be a bit of a rush job.
Cumquat Marmalade, 2nd Batch
We were given some more cumquats, a completely different variety of cumquat to last time. These were almost the size of half a small mandarin, and had the largest seeds, and lots of them.
Amazingly, it seemed that every quart in each cumquat contained a seed, we were still removing them from the pot even as the jam was nearly ready to be bottled. Mr. HRK and I both removed all the seeds, or so we thought, the day before so that they could be soaked to extract the pectin, which is the jam thickener. Well weren't we in for a surprise, when seeds kept popping up in the pot as the jam was cooking, until the end of the cooking time. I also had to remove half of the skin when I sliced them up to soak, as some of the skin had dark spots on it.
Anyway not to be deterred, I followed exactly the same formula to make this marmalade as I did a couple of weeks ago when I made my first batch, although I had a lot more cumquats this time, I just increased the ratio of quantities according to weight. This batch is still delicious, and thickened well, but isn't as clear as the first batch. I'm blaming it on the fruit which I think had been left on the tree too long, anyway it still tastes delicious. "I'm certainly not looking a gift horse in the mouth". Cumquats are a precious commodity. This is the link to my previous Cumquat Marmalade batch recipe in August if you missed it. Dear reader, if you are gifted a jar of Cumquat Marmalade by a friend or relative, please be very appreciative. The maker of this marmalade put her/his heart and soul into making this jam. Jam making is a labour of love and every batch can turn out differently given the differences in fruit quality. I am getting better at it and feel a lot more confident now with jam and marmalade making. This one such a delicious marmalade.
|Nasturtiums from our garden give the slice some colour for afternoon tea at home.|
I often make this Boiled fruit cake into two smaller cakes, but this time I used a large square cake tin and sent the whole cake North. Two packets of cherries, lots of mixed fruit and a swig of brandy give this cake a delicious flavour. Here's the recipe and it's story for you.
It's Spring here, and we've been doing a lot of gardening, planting new seedlings, repotting and enjoying being outside in the beautiful weather. I pruned my Pineapple Sage plant a couple of weeks ago and it has responded beautifully by thickening up and flowering. The red flowers bring some nice colour and attract the bees and insects. I added some of the Pineapple Sage leaves to my
|Pineapple Sage coming into flower|
I've planted beans under the trellis, and two rows of radishes. They are coming along nicely in the warmer weather.