I had all intentions of baking a cake for Divya's, Show Me Your Cake. But, between making moong dal halwa for Srivalli's Indian Cooking Challenge, and working on my graduate papers -- all my plans of baking-from-scratch have gone awry. Thankfully, there's the option to re-post. And fortunately, I am pretty much shameless about stuff like that.
So, without further rambling, here are my two entries:
Nigel Slater's Chocolate Beetroot Cake (read complete post here).
250g beetroot (I took about 2 medium-sized ones)
200g fine, dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids)
4 tbsp hot espresso
200g butter (happened to chance upon Grade AA butter, would have never thought butter has grades!)
135g plain flour
A heaped tsp baking powder
3 tbsp good-quality cocoa powder
190g golden caster sugar (I used Turbinado raw sugar)
creme fraiche and poppy seeds, to serve
"Lightly butter a 20cm (8-inch) loose-bottomed (spring-form) cake tin, and line the base with a disc of baking parchment. Set the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 (350F).
"Cook the beetroot, whole and un-peeled, in boiling unsalted water." (I had no patience to wait around for half-an-hour, so I pressure-cooked them for three whistles, instead). "Depending on their size, they will be knifepoint tender within 30-40 minutes. Young ones may take slightly less. Drain them, let them cool under running water, then peel them, slice out their stem and root, and blitz to a rough puree."
Now he gets a bit muddle-some. Or so says AM. So, let's re-arrange and re-word.
"Sift together the flour, baking powder, and cocoa. Separate the eggs; put the whites in a mixing bowl. Stir the yolks together."
"Cut the butter into small pieces -- the smaller the better," and set aside.
Nigel, asks to whisk the egg-whites later, but I found that hard in between other multi-tasking. So, "whisk the egg-whites until stiff, then fold in the sugar," and set aside.
"Snap the chocolate into pieces," and melt it, "in a small bowl, resting over a pot of simmering water. Don't stir. When the chocolate looks almost melted, pour the hot espresso over it, and stir once."
"Add the butter pieces to melted chocolate," pressing it down, "under the surface of the chocolate with a spoon, and leave to soften."
Once the butter has softened, "quickly but gently, remove the chocolate bowl from the heat, stirring until the butter has melted into the chocolate. Leave for a few minutes, then stir in the egg-yolks; mix firmly so the eggs blend into the mixture."
"Fold in the beetroot. Firmly, but tenderly, fold the whisked," egg-whites-sugar, "into the chocolate mixture. A large metal spoon is what you want; work in deep, figure-of-eight movements, but take care not to over-mix."
"Fold in the flour and cocoa."
"Transfer to the prepared cake tin," place in the oven, "and turn the "heat down immediately to 160C/gas mark 3/320F. Bake for 40 minutes." (It took me exactly that much time to bake), but ovens tend to vary. So, set the timer for 35 minutes, and check on the cake thereon.
Once done, "the rim of the cake will feel spongy, the inner part should still wobble a little, when gently shaken."
"Leave to cool (it will sink a tad in the centre), loosening it around with a palette knife after half-an-hour, or so. It is not a good idea to remove the cake from its tin, until it's completely cold." I kept it to cool overnight.
"Serve in thick slices, with creme fraiche and poppy seeds."
To reach nirvana, creme fraiche is a MUST on this cake. Talk later. Eat now.
Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cupcakes. (Original recipe here. For my post, click here)
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