12 Meals of Christmas – Day 3 – Beetroot, Orange and Ginger Cake

To celebrate Christmas, I’ve launched a brand new blog series covering the twelve days of Christmas with the 12 Meals of Christmas. Each day you’ll be getting an exciting christmassy recipe to help you save money and your belly for the big day.

Cake. Everyone loves it. And by combining beetroot, orange and ginger, you get a taste-combination that sums Christmas up in the perfect way. Of course, ginger can divide opinion – I’m not the keenest ginger fan myself. Yet, by dropping in just a teaspoon of the spice, the three flavours will make those wrap up and watch TV days all the better. You’ll also be the envy of your friends by producing this moreish cake – and best of all, it takes nothing to make!

Beetroot, Orange and Ginger Cake (Serves 6)

One beetroot

An orange

A teaspoon of ginger

200g of self-raising flour

200g of demerara sugar

200g of margarine

A teaspoon of baking powder

Three eggs

Icing (optional)

Four heaped tablespoons of icing sugar

Two tablespoons of water

Preparing fresh beetroot might look scary at first, but it returns far better results than buying it pre-boiled. Start by dropping four beetroots into a saucepan and covering them with boiling water. Place a lid over the top and cook the beets on a medium heat for around 20 minutes, or until your knife can cut through them easily. Once they’re tender, remove them from the heat and plunge the beetroots into cold or ice water. After 2 or 3 minutes, the skin should peel off of the roots. When all of the skin is removed from the beetroot, place three of the roots into an airtight container and store in the fridge for tomorrow’s recipe.

Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5/180C. Line and grease a medium-sized cake tin and set to one side. To start making the cake, place the self-raising flour, margarine, baking powder, sugar and ginger into a bowl and, taking your fingertips, combine the mixture so that it resembles a crumble topping.

Next up, make a well in the centre of the cake mix and crack in three eggs. Add to this the zest of one orange and squeeze in a good bit of juice to make the cake extra zingy. With a spoon, carefully fold the mixture – making sure that your pulling air into the batter and combining all of the ingredients together thoroughly. With your batter made, slide the mixture into the cake tin and place it into the oven for around 35 minutes.

When a knife or cake skewer comes out clean, turn your cake onto a cooling rack and begin making the icing. Into a jug, pop in your icing sugar and then follow this with a couple of drops of water. If the icing is not thick enough (something I have not perfected yet), keep adding a little dash of icing sugar at a time until you get the consistency you want. Squeeze another little dash of orange into the icing and grate some zest too.

Drizzle the icing over the cake, starting at the centre and spread it evenly over the surface with a knife. Serve up immediately for “friends” (yourself, of course) or keep back for work lunches by placing into an airtight container and storing.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more from the 12 Meals of Christmas. If you enjoyed this recipe, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below!

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Dark Chocolate and Beetroot Cake

At some point in our lives it’s likely that we’ve tasted a carrot cake. When you first hear the words “carrot” and “cake”, something sounds off in the brain. Surely these two foods can’t mix? But, unless you’re eating a really badly done cake, the match is almost perfect. I say almost: I have to sell this cake to you so I’m obviously going to put it above the carrot cake. Besides, this chocolate and beetroot cake recipe really celebrates that current trend of combining sweet and savoury (what’s with putting garlic in smoothies? Garlic!?)

You’re going to have to source some raw beetroot – or, even better, you could grow some and keep this recipe handy. A bit of pre-prep: pop all of your beetroot into tin foil, wack the oven onto gas mark 4/ 180C and place the beets onto a baking tray. Cook them in the oven until a knife goes straight through them. Then, when you reach this point, take a knife to the beets and carefully take off the skin. Trust me, it’s worth it and you get some delicious fresh beetroot for pizzas, salads and more.

Onto the main event:

Dark Chocolate and Beetroot Cake

Ingredients

190g caster sugar

250g cooked Beetroot

135g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

200g butter

5 large eggs

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

200g dark chocolate

Step One –Making the Cake

Begin by preheating your oven to gas mark 4/180C. Take a cake tin, line with greaseproof paper and run a little butter around the sides of the paper. Next, take your beetroot and blend in a food processor.

Heat up a saucepan of water over a medium hob. Pop a glass bowl over the top and into this melt your dark chocolate. Remove your chocolate from the heat and stir in your butter until soft.

In a separate bowl, sift your plain flour, baking powder and cocoa powder together. Move to one side.

Follow this by separating the egg whites from their yolks. Combine the dark chocolate and egg yolks in with the beetroot.

Whisk the egg whites until you have solid peaks (it helps if you have an electric whisk handy, otherwise give it a good beating by hand). Carefully fold this into the beetroot mix, adding a quarter of the whites first and then following with the rest.

Finish by making a well in the centre of the beetroot and pouring your plain flour mix in. Steadily fold the flour in, taking your spoon out from the outsides of the bowl and into the centre. Whilst you do this, make sure you’re adding some air by doing a figure of eight.

Step Two – Baking the Cake

Pour your mixture into your prepared tin and place it into the oven for around 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake bounces back when pressed at the top.

Place onto a cooling rack, get your clotted cream or double cream at the ready with some fresh strawberries and devour the lot.

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