After 6 quiet weeks the ovens, mixers and most importantly the chefs in the kitchen at Cragside have sprung into life. This week we’ve come back with a bang and welcomed the first visitors of 2016. Its been half term this week which has meant lots of families have wrapped up and braved the somewhat wintry weather that descended on us over the past week. We kept our menu simple this week with a whole host of warming dishes and treats such as carrot and coriander soup, cottage pie and apple crumble and custard.
On our list of cakes this week has been the slightly unusual addition of chocolate and beetroot cake. For the cynics amongst you I promise this is a cake worth trying; even if you don’t like beetroot. (Just ask our lovely chef Charlotte who avoids beetroot like the plague in its normal guise). The beetroot adds and extra dimension of moisture and richness, not to mention giving the sponge a lovely reddish/purpley hue. If you’d like to give the recipe a try you can either buy the beetroot fresh or you can use the ready cooked pre packed beetroot (but definitely avoid the pickled variety!!)
Chocolate and Beetroot Cake
265g plain flour
55g cocoa powder
15g baking powder
375g caster sugar
300ml sunflower or vegetable oil
375g cooked beetroot
5ml vanilla essence
200g icing sugar
a little water to mix
1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius
2. Grate the cooked beetroot and set to one side.
3. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and thickened (this may take 5 – 10 minutes).
4. Gradually pour in the oil while still whisking until it is fully incorporated into the egg and sugar mixture
5. Mix together the flour, baking powder and cocoa and fold into the egg mixture.
6. Fold in the grated beetroot and add the vanilla essence
7. Grease and line a 23cm/9 inch tin and pour in the cake mixture, cook in the centre of the oven for between 45 – 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
8. To make the icing mix the icing sugar, cocoa and softened butter together until fully combined and soft. If the icing is still a little stiff add a few drops of water and mix again.
9. Once the cake is cooked and cooled, spread the butter icing over the top of the cake and sprinkle with a little grated chocolate.