Chocolate and beetroot cake

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….

oompah band


Alte Mainbrücke

Alte Mainbrücke 2

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…..

conference lunch

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)

200g butter

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

  1. Heat oven to 180 F. Grease a 23cm cake tin with butter and line with baking parchment.
  2. Blend the beetroot into a puree
  3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water. Add the coffee when chocolate is melted and mix well
  4. Cut the butter into small pieces and stir into chocolate/coffee and mix well. Allow to cool slightly and pour into large bowl
  5. Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa together in a bowl
  6. Separate the eggs: whisk yolks briefly
  7. Stir egg yolks into chocolate and butter mixture and then stir in the beetroot
  8. 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
  9. Add the flour/cocoa mix to the chocolate/egg mixture and fold in carefully to ensure air stays in the mixture
  10. Pour the mix into cake tin and shake gently to level
  11. 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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s