WHETHER or not you’re celebrating Valentine’s day, you’ll love this week’s bake.
Adding beetroot to a cake may seem a little strange – but we used to think that about carrots.
The beetroot gives a velvety texture. You can buy vacuum-packed beetroot in supermarkets.
If you don’t have a heart-shaped tin, use a 2lb loaf tin.
100g cooked beetroot, roughly chopped
5 tbsp Bonne Maman Raspberry Conserve
125g milk chocolate, chopped
125g unsalted butter, diced
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 tsp cocoa powder
3 medium eggs, separated
110g golden caster sugar
15g finely chopped hazelnuts
Fresh raspberries and icing sugar to decorate
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas mark 4/350F. Grease and line a 15cm wide, 8cm deep heart-shaped tin with baking parchment.
Put the beetroot and 2 tbsp of the conserve in a blender and blitz for a few seconds to puree.
Put 100g of the chocolate and 100g of the butter into a large heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of gently simmering water to melt.
Sift together 70g of flour, baking powder and 5 tsp of cocoa.
Stir the melted chocolate and butter together. Beat in the egg yolks until smooth. Fold in the beetroot puree.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff then gradually whisk in 85g of the sugar until the egg whites are stiff and shiny. Fold into the beetroot mixture. Now sift the dry ingredients again into the bowl and fold in using a tablespoon.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, turn the oven down to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3/300F and put in the oven for 45mins to 1 hour – until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out.
Make the chocolate crumbs. Put the remaining flour, cocoa, caster sugar and butter into a bowl and rub together until crumbly. Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and put into the oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly baked. Cool.
Finely grate the remaining chocolate into the crumbs and add the hazelnuts.
Turn the cake bottom up and spread with the remaining conserve. Spoon over the chocolate crumbs and pat down well into the conserve.
Put a heart of fresh raspberries on top and dust with icing sugar before serving.
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