Monday, 11 October 2010

Beetroot-oo what you believe in

And in my case that would be cake. We'll be growing a lot more beetroot next year - unlike radishes, it doesn't seem like one can have too much of it - we've had it roasted, boiled, grated and now baked. At larger-scale self sufficient communities they are stored in crates of sand over winter to stop them shrinking - seems to work fine if you can avoid gritty meals upon up-sanding. Anyhow, ours have all long been converted!

Maggie gave us some recipes to start with, and this is what we baked:

Moist chocolate cake with a beetroot pink squidge

By any standard, this cake is divine. Yes, the quantity of beetroot used is the only disappointment in this recipe, but it's amply made up for with chocolate!
300 g beetroot, boiled until tender (~30 minutes)
200 g dark chocolate (75%)
200 g butter
4 tbsp hot water or coffee
140 g flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
5 eggs
180 g sugar

Butter a 20 cm cake tin. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas4.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff, the whisk in the sugar.
Bring a few cm of water to simmer in a small pot and rest a bowl on top to heat. Break the chocolate into the bowl to melt and add the 4 tbsp hot water and the butter in small chunks. Mix briefly when melted, transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool a little. Stir in the egg yolks followed by the beetroot. Then fold in the egg whites and the sieves flower, baking powder and cocoa. Do not over-mix. Bake at 160C for 30-40 minutes until firm around the edge but Still a little wobbly in the middle. This will set as it cools. Serve cold with yoghurt or sour cream. Lovely.

Beetroot and buckwheat seed loaf

David's favourite by far - the first gluten and dairy free cake he actually ate most of!
250 g buckwheat flour
5 level tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
200 g brown sugar
180 ml sunflower oil
3 eggs
250 g beetroot
120g seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, poppy)
1/2 lemon juice and zest
50 g dried apricots

Line a loaf tin with baking paper; grease with oil or vegan margerine. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas4. Beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside. Beat oil, sugar and egg yolks together. Add the grated beetroot, lemon, chopped apricots and seeds. Mix the dry ingredients and sieve over the mix. Add the egg whites and fold together gently but not too thoroughly until just combined. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes. Leave in switched off oven for a further 15 minutes.

This is a moist fruity tea cake that tastes healthier than it probably is... with the added satisfaction of seedy crunch all the way through! The beetroot almost disappears, leaving just the deep earthy taste of wholefood...

Saturday, 9 October 2010


A long day on the plot, digging, weeding, picking and planning. Followed by dinner with Cate, Malcolm, Hanna, David and Sarah. Mostly home grown. Baked potatoes, sprouting broccoli with lemon and garlic, hot tomato and onion chutney, mixed leaf salad, elderberry and apple chutney. And some highly processed cream cheese from the supermarket for good measure, and to buffer our slow descent into veganism.

We made pie out of our share of Abundance Apples.

Malcolm gets the credit for the pretty stars and moon decoration.

All done! Stuffed. Recipes will follow.