Chocolate & beetroot

16 June 2013 at 11:22pm 8 comments

While I ordinarily enjoy the witticisms and observations sandwiched between the pages of The Flavor Thesaurus (my excellent Mothers Day present), I respectfully disagree with author Niki Segnit’s comments regarding chocolate and beetroot [1]:

In chocolate beet cake, the cocoa almost entirely overwhelms the beet flavor, leaving nothing but a hint of its earthiness, which make the cake taste like a cheap chocolate cake that’s been dropped in a flowerbed.

the cake

You may have already heard of or fallen in love with red velvet cake – a chocolate cake that is coloured red, either by red food colouring, beetroot or the reaction of vinegar and buttermilk with light cocoa [2].

When my friend Tiina shared her raw chocolate beetroot cake with me a few weeks ago, my tastebuds were tickled and my brain buzzed with new possibilities.

Enter today’s recipe, which is uncooked and features both beetroot and cacao in generous proportions. The main points of distinction between this and your usual chocolate beetroot cake recipes are that the cacao, beetroot and other ingredients are raw, no flour/eggs/refined sugar are featured, and there is no baking involved.

serving

I am really happy with the end result, with its complementary variations in flavour and texture. The base is biscuity, the cake is moist, and the topping is light and creamy. The only thing I would do differently for next time is to pass the mousse through a fine chinois (fine mesh strainer) to make it even smoother and fluffier.

Recipe #142: Raw red velvet cake. Or you may prefer to know this cake by its full title: Hannah’s Version of Tiina’s Delicious Chocolate Beetroot Cake. You will need a food processor or Thermomix [TM] to make this recipe.

You will need – for the biscuit base:
► 140g raw cashews, ground into meal
► 140g shredded coconut
► 50g dates (I use medjool)
► 50g raw honey (I favour jarrah, but any will do – or you could substitute agave syrup, yacon syrup, coconut nectar or more dates)
► 50g goji berries
► 40g cacao powder

- for the cake filling:
► 2 medium-sized beetroots, cut into quarters
► 140g almonds, ground into meal
► 45g almond flour (made from dehydrated pulp leftover from making nut milk. You could substitute for this by doubling the amount of almond meal)
► 140g macadamia nuts, ground into meal
► 35g cacao powder
► 1 decent pinch of Himalayan salt

- for the mousse topping:
► 140g dates (use whole dates, don’t worry if you are slightly over or under 140g)
► 35g cacao powder
► 1/2 small avocado
► 6 tbsp of olive oil
► 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon
► 1/2 tsp of vanilla powder
► [optional] a swirl of agave syrup (for extra sweetness, if needed. You could also use more dates)

Start by making the base. Place all the biscuit base ingredients into your food processor and process until the fine crumbs of mixture stick together like dough when pressed [TM: less than 30s on speed 8]. Press the mixture into a lined cake tin (I used a 20cm round springform tin) and place into the freezer while you make the cake filling.

To make the cake filling, process all ingredients until the mixture looks like semi-cooked cake dough [TM: speed 6-7 for up to 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go]. You may need to add a little water to help the mixture to process effectively.

Remove the cake tin from the freezer and spread the fresh cake filling evenly over the top of the biscuit base, pressing it slightly at the sides to ensure there are no air bubbles. You will need to work fairly quickly, as the mixture will darken (oxidise) from red to brown on contact with the air. When you have an even surface, place the cake into the freezer for a few minutes while you make the topping.

For the mousse topping, process all ingredients together until the mousse is completely smooth. This may take a few minutes [TM: speed 7-8 for a few seconds at a time then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat these steps as often as needed]. Add more olive oil – or macadamia oil is also fabulous – if your end result is not creamy enough, a little water (a trickle at a time) if your mix is too thick to process, or agave syrup if you need more sweetness.

The mousse topping is a variation on the avocado mousse from my chocolate uncooking class, incorporating much less avocado than I have previously advocated. By using only part of an avocado, you lose the avocado flavour while retaining the creamy consistency.

Spread or pipe the mouse over the top of the cake and it’s ready to enjoy – in a modest slice with a dollop of cashew nut cream [= 2 cups of presoaked raw cashews blended with lemon juice + 4 dates + a pinch of salt] and your favourite chill out track playing in the background.

eating

Thank you to Tiina for the inspiration!

H :)

References:
[1] Segnit, N. (2010) The Flavor Thesaurus, Bloomsbury, New York.
[2] Beard, J. cited in Wikipedia (2013) “Red velvet cake” in Wikipedia. Available online via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_velvet_cake [last acessed: 15/06/2013].

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Entry filed under: dairy free, desserts, eating in, gluten free, raw food, recipes, Thermomix, vegan, vegetarian. Tags: , , , .

Honey nougat goji cashew cacao ball delights Conquering a mountain with (samphire) salad

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Aileen Sforcina  |  17 June 2013 at 6:02am

    Thanks Hannah. This looks and sounds amazing. I’ll give it a try using carob and let you know how it turns out. Love, Mum

    Reply
    • 2. Hannah  |  17 June 2013 at 12:18pm

      Thanks, Mum. Let me know how yours turns out!

      H x

      Reply
  • 3. Angie  |  17 June 2013 at 9:31am

    YUM!!! :D

    Reply
    • 4. Hannah  |  17 June 2013 at 12:37pm

      Thanks, Angie. It is!

      H :)

      Reply
  • 5. {Real} Life in Balance: The Foodologist  |  8 July 2013 at 4:35pm

    […] 7. What’s in your fridge at the moment? A well-stocked fridge fills me with delight. Right now mine is brimming with (yes, this is a stocktake) a grapefruit, celery, black kale, half each of a cabbage and a butternut pumpkin, a zucchini, parsley, coriander, ginger, turmeric, garlic, a red onion, 1½ lemons, 5 green apples, 7 tomatoes, 4 carrots, bay leaves, seeded and Dijon mustards, basil pesto, butter, milk, yoghurt, sauerkraut, capers, olives, a facial cleanser, a foot mask, unsoap, homemade kasundi (eggplant & persimmon – really yum, but more like a jam than a pickle. I will blog the recipe when it’s perfected), leftovers from two meals, green juice pulp, bee pollen, hemp seeds, ‘nutty nog’ spices, my aunty’s homemade strawberry jam, eggs, a generous slice of raw cacao beetroot cake (recipe here). […]

    Reply
  • 6. Melissa  |  20 August 2013 at 2:04pm

    Hi Hannah, this was absolutely delicious! I am wondering if you know how many calories are in this entire cake? Thanks, Melissa

    Reply
    • 7. Hannah  |  17 September 2013 at 10:02pm

      I am so glad you liked it, Melissa – and sorry, but I couldn’t give you a calorie count. I just enjoy it, knowing how much good it’s doing me.

      If you’re really keen, you could work out the calories by adding together the calories from each individual ingredient…

      All the best,

      H :)

      Reply
  • 8. Jean Cruz  |  18 September 2013 at 9:12am

    Yay, chocolate cake! I’ve been looking for an easy recipe for quite a while and I am thankful that I found it through your site.

    Anyways, where do you get your kitchen tools and accessories? It seems like you have an eye for excellent quality, based on the pictures you posted. Me? I get them only from http://uniquedesign.net.au/. They have the finest selections and fantastic deals ever.

    Nice blog you have right here. I’ll definitely come back for more.

    Cheers,
    Jean

    Reply

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