Beetroot & Coconut Chocolate Cake

Autumn has definitely moved in and I could not be more ready for autumnal inspired blog posts (or snaps too tempting not to pop on my Instagram page!)

Hooray for drawing the blinds at 6pm and settling down for an evening of cradling hot tea and eating delicious cake! Speaking of cake, I have just discovered the world of baking sweet treats with vegetables... (stay with me now!)

I recently had a meeting with Parragon Books at their headquarters in Bath, to discuss the possibility of a food blogging collaboration. Established in 1988, Parragon Books is one of the largest licensed publishing houses in the world. Creating children's books, gifts and toys, as well as lifestyle books and products, in more than 25 languages and in over 35 global markets. As part of an ongoing initiative to promote brand awareness, Parragon Books features an online blog, showcasing posts relating to food, drink, lifestyle, crafts and gifts. As part of my collaboration with them, I will be featuring a variety of recipes sourced from their archives. To kickstart off my culinary journey, I want to introduce you to a recipe taken from 'Baking with Vegetables' brought to you by Parragon Books Ltd, Love Food, Ⓒ Parragon Books Ltd 2015. Forget feeling guilty when you indulge in a slice of cake, as this Beetroot & Coconut Chocolate Cake contains one of your five a day! Let's get started...

For this recipe, you will need:

5 beetroots 

200 g spelt flour

6 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

200 g golden caster sugar

100 g plain chocolate

3 eggs

200 solid coconut oil

Topping

3 tbsp golden caster sugar

3 tbsp milk

75 unsalted butter

75 plain chocolate

Beetroot Icing

2 tbsp water

115 g icing sugar

1 tsp beetroot powder, or 1 drop of red food colouring

*This recipe is taken from Parragon Books 'Baking with Vegetables.'


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Now then, peel those beetroots! I suggest doing this on top of cling film to prevent marking chopping boards or kitchen sides. I also recommend donning a pair of latex gloves too, or ensuring you wash your hands repeatedly to avoid staining your skin. Place the beets into a steamer basket in a saucepan filled with an inch of water. Turn on the hob and steam the veg for half an hour, over a low heat.

Meanwhile, assemble the dry ingredients; sift the spelt flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a mixing bowl then stir in the golden caster sugar. Next, break the chocolate into pieces and transfer them to a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water.

Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat.

When the beets are tender, put them into a food processor and get blitzing! With the machine still whirring, add the eggs and solid coconut oil. As soon as you have a silky smooth puree, you can spoon the mixture into the mixing bowl.

Combine all of the ingredients together...

... then add the melted chocolate.

Scoop the vibrant red batter into a round cake tin (make sure you have greased the tin beforehand).

Step away from the kitchen and your egg timer for 50 minutes! Once the timer springs into life, remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in its tin for 10 minutes. After that time, you can then turn it out onto a cooling rack and prepare the topping. 

Grab a small saucepan and fill it with an inch of water, pop it on the hob (over a low heat) and place a heatproof bowl on top. Put the chocolate, butter, milk and golden caster sugar into the bowl and stir until you have a glossy consistency. Drizzle the smooth topping over your cake...

Let the chocolate trickle down the sides...

For a final touch, decorate with beetroot icing! I made mine with red food colouring as I could not find beetroot powder in the supermarket. Whichever ingredient you choose, simply stir icing sugar with water to form a soft paste. Add the food colouring or beetroot powder and mix until you achieve your desired party pink icing! Then pretend you are Jackson Pollock!

Once you have unleashed your artistic flair, get ready to indulge...

The cake is moist, rich and decadent and there is not a hint of dry sponge in sight!  

Many thanks to Joelle at Parragon Books for kindly gifting me 'Baking with Vegetables' Parragon Books Ltd, Love Food, Ⓒ Parragon Books Ltd 2015. You too could soon be leafing through the many gorgeous recipes in the cookbook, and surprising your loved ones to cakes, cookies, pies and sweet treats galore! I have already spotted one or two recipes in there which will be perfect for Halloween...