Although the chilly winter months are upon us and we are dusting off our winter warmers, it doesn’t mean that our food has to become heavy and unhealthy.
I personally embrace the colder season. November is rich in root vegetables and brassicas that are not only incredibly good for us in so many ways but also taste delicious. By using our well-honed and vast knowledge of seasonal and well sourced fruits and vegetables that the UK has to offer, we can create many interesting and tasty dishes for us all to enjoy.
This month, I’ve been making “ Spiced Beetroot and Chocolate cake.” You might think that this sounds naughty and terribly indulgent but you would be wrong.
This cake is made using no refined sugars, no butter, no gluten and only the best, high quality fair-trade dark chocolate and paired with deep and earthy beetroot which allows the cake to stay incredibly moist.
Beetroot: Rich in Iron which helps with fatigue during those dark winter mornings. It has been proven that beetroot can help lower cholesterol and therefore reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Beetroot is also high in folic acid which is essential for tissue growth and replenishment.
Dark Chocolate: Helps to control blood sugar levels. It is also very in rich in anti-oxidants which are thought to protect us from many types of cancers and the onset of premature aging…as well as tasting delicious and can satisfy those sugar cravings without spiking our blood sugars.
Honey: Is known to improve and reduce cholesterol and there for reduces the risk of heart attack. As well as being an immune booster, which we will all need as the cold weather starts to set in.
Almonds: Provide our bodies with “healthy fats” and can help reduce body weight. They are the only nut protein known to be alkaline forming, which helps keep our bodies functioning well, reduces fatigue, improves our immune system and aids in weight loss. Almonds are also very high in Phosphorus which helps build strong teeth and bones.
So, i say…”Let them EAT CAKE!”
Spiced Beetroot and Dark Chocolate Cake
3 large free-range eggs
100g dark chocolate
200g runny honey
75ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100g gluten free flour
1.5 tsp baking powder, gluten free
2 tsp mixed all spice
50g ground almond
250g raw beetroot, peeled and grated
For the Icing
125g Dark Chocolate
50 mls water
Place the dark chocolate in a bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt slowly until smooth, then set aside to cool.
Place the eggs, honey and sunflower oil in a large mixing bowl and whisk together, using an electric hand whisk, for about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla extract, then sift over the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder.
Gently fold in the ground almonds followed by the grated beetroot.
Mix the cooled chocolate, until thoroughly mixed. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes, giving you time to clean up wile you cake bakes to perfection.
Cover with foil if the cake browns too quickly.
Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean. Cool for a little while, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
While cooling you can make the icing. Melt the 125g of Dark chocolate over a pan of simmering watering with the 50mls of water. Stir while melting to emulsify. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over the cooled cake. Leave to set, preferably in the fridge for 20 minutes or so before serving. I have dusted mine with freeze dried raspberries.