Beetroot and cherry cake
- 125 gram (4oz) butter, softened
- 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 cup (300g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup (180ml) buttermilk
- 2 large beetroot (beets) (400g), peeled, grated
- 1/2 cup (170g) cherry jam
- 200 gram (6½oz) fresh cherries (see tip)
- 2 teaspoon dried pink peppercorns, crushed lightly
- 2 teaspoon icing (confectioners') sugar
Pink meringue buttercream
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 250 gram (8oz) butter, chopped, softened
- 1 teaspoon rosewater
- 1/4 teaspoon pink food colouring
Beetroot and cherry cake with pink meringue buttercream
- 1Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F. Grease a deep 22cm (9in) round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.
- 2Beat butter and caster sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla paste. Add sifted flour, baking powder and salt then buttermilk; beat until just combined. Fold through the beetroot. Spread mixture into pan; smooth the surface. Spoon cherry jam on top; swirl through with a butter knife.
- 3Bake cake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool cake in pan.
- 4Meanwhile, to make pink meringue buttercream; place egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly for 10 minutes or until mixture reaches 70°C/158°F on a sugar thermometer and sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk mixture for 5 minutes or until thick and glossy and cooled to room temperature. Gradually add butter, one piece at a time, whisking well after each addition, until all butter is incorporated and mixture is pale and smooth. Whisk in rosewater and colouring.
- 5Spread buttercream on cooled cake; top with cherries and peppercorns. Dust with sifted icing sugar.
You can use a mixture of differently coloured cherries, if you like. The cake can be made a day ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Buttercream can be kept, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 hours.
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