Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Healthy Cake... yeah, right.

I've been baking a lot lately, swooning my colleagues at work with my baking confectionaries and taking orders for family and friend birthday parties. Last week it was cupcakes galore (thank you hummingbird bakery cookbook) and Angel Food cake (They don't have that in wrong). This week is Pioneer Women's Tres Leche Cake and next week The most beautiful cake I have ever tasted, Beetroot and Seed Cake. Yes that's right kids, a healthy cake. Well, as healthy as a tasty cake is ever going to get. Just ingnore the gallons of oil. Hrm?

My collegue bought this in yesterday to work and I have no quarls with saying this is better than anything I have ever made. Beautifully moist and so very flavourful. I must insist you try it.

Beetroot and Seed Cake

225g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 scant tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
180ml sunflower oil
225g light muscovado sugar
3 eggs
150g raw beetroot
juice of half a lemon
75g sultanas or raisins
75g mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, linseed)
for the icing:
8 tbsp icing sugar
lemon juice or orange blossom water
poppy seeds

Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. Lightly butter a rectangular loaf tin (20cm x 9cm x 7cm deep, measured across the bottom) then line the bottom with baking parchment.

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Beat the oil and sugar in a food mixer until well creamed then introduce the beaten egg yolks one by one, reserving the whites for later.

Grate the beetroot coarsely and fold into the mixture, then add the lemon juice, raisins or sultanas and the assorted seeds. Fold the flour and raising agents into the mixture while the machine is turning slowly.

Beat the egg whites till light and almost stiff. Fold gently but thoroughly into the mixture with a large metal spoon (a wooden one will knock the air out). Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 50-55 minutes, covering the top with a piece of foil after 30 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if done. The cake should be moist inside but not sticky. Leave the cake to settle for a good 20 minutes before turning out of its tin on to a wire cooling rack.

To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar and stir in enough lemon juice or orange blossom water to achieve a consistency where the icing will run over the top of the cake and dribble slowly down the sides (about three teaspoonfuls), stirring to remove any lumps. Drizzle over the cake and scatter with poppy seeds. Leave to set before eating.


Viv said...

I have *never* tried a beet. Maybe a cake wouldn't be a bad first application.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Well thats a flavour i've never heard of, but why not, i mean, carrot cakes are awesome. Who would think to put carrots in a cake?
Question: does the beet make a huge mess? I know they can really stain.
I want to try this.
*kisses* HH

Eve said...

Viv - I don't think generally Beetroot is as popular/widely used in the states as it is in the UK. Pickled beetroot is the best though :) You should try it.

HH - oooo you know it's messy! hands, chopping board and grater were stained ra lovely purple hue. I would suggest using a plastic chopping board or your wood will be ruined! :)

tinahead81 said...

my grandpa eats pickled beets alot...i've never been able to bring myself to try them though! lol

this cake looks soo good!

Chelle said...

That looks so good! Is it sad that I've never tried a beet?

Just Another Mom of 2 said...

I have never tried a beet, but this sure looks yummy!! Visiting from The Winey mommy :)

ModernMom said...

Never would I have thought to put beets in a cake!

grace said...

moist? check. GORGEOUS? check check. healthy-ish? check. and there's even a frosting. what a great and unique cake!

Hilary said...

Oooooh this one look gorgeous! Much more like the effect I was going for. Your cake doesn't look nearly as 'stained' as mine did - did you squueze out the moisture first or something? I want that effect!

Eve said...

Hilary - Sorry for the delayed reply! Didn't squeeze or anything really.... not sure why it turned out more "contained" :)