Last weekend I was at a conference in Würzburg, a city in northern Bavaria, Germany. The author, poet and artist Herman Hesse apparently said ‘If I could choose my place of birth, I would consider Würzburg’ and I think it is a lovely city. It is well known for its lavish baroque and rococo architecture, including the 18th-century Residenz palace, a Unesco World Cultural Heritage site. It’s also famous for its wine, although sadly, I didn’t have time to try any….
Würzburg Residenz, Fortress Marienberg and city view
There was a town festival, and there were crowds everywhere, being serenaded by Oompah bands….
I walked from my hotel to the conference venue, which was a bit further than I expected and this wasn’t helped by getting a bit lost in the Würzburg suburbs, so I was quite hungry by lunchtime. I was particularly delighted with the conference lunch, which certainly did the job…..
This week’s cake is a chocolate and beetroot cake. We’ve got a fantastic beetroot crop this year, so there is plenty for this cake, which is one of our favourites. It might sound odd to use beetroot in a cake but it is but it is seriously good, really rich and moist. It really doesn’t need any more sugar than I’ve put in.
Chocolate and beetroot cake (pdf Chocolate and beetroot cake)
300g cooked and peeled beetroot**
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
4 tablespoons of cafetiere coffee
135g plain flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
5 large eggs (separated)
80g caster sugar
- Heat oven to 180 F. Grease a 23cm cake tin with butter and line with baking parchment.
- Blend the beetroot into a puree
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water. Add the coffee when chocolate is melted and mix well
- Cut the butter into small pieces and stir into chocolate/coffee and mix well. Allow to cool slightly and pour into large bowl
- Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa together in a bowl
- Separate the eggs: whisk yolks briefly
- Stir egg yolks into chocolate and butter mixture and then stir in the beetroot
- Whisk the egg whites till you can make peaks. Fold the sugar into the egg whites and fold this into the chocolate and beetroot mixture
- Add the flour/cocoa mix to the chocolate/egg mixture and fold in carefully to ensure air stays in the mixture
- Pour the mix into cake tin and shake gently to level
- Cook for ~40 mins, until firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin.
** Cooking beetroot: twist off the leaves (DO NOT CUT – or they will bleed into the water). Cook for ~1 hour in boiling water then leave to cool a little. Peel off skin when cool enough to handle