Recipe

Choc-beetroot hazelnut loaves with ruby frosting

Give your chocolate cake an earthy edge with the use of this not-so-secret ingredient.

  • 2 hrs cooking
  • Serves 10
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Boost your vegie intake by adding it to your cakes! Beetroot gives a rich earthy flavour to your chocolate cake and makes it beautifully moist at the same time with an added crunch from hazelnuts.
Sure, it's probably not the same as eating a big bowl of salad, but adding grated vegies to your cakes helps bulk them up and add a lovely natural moisture, reducing the amount of flour or sugar you need.
From grated carrot and zucchini, to pumpkin, sweet potato and rhubarb, these sweet treats have all the added goodness you need, with no compromise on the flavour you want with our desserts featuring hidden vegies.
Looking for more chocolate cake recipes?

Ingredients

  • 1 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (90g) honey
  • ½ cup (125ml) buttermilk
  • ½ cup (125ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 medium beetroot (175g)
  • ¾ cup (110g) skinless hazelnuts, roasted, chopped coarsely, plus extra to decorate
Ruby frosting
  • 125 grams cream cheese, softened
  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 2 cups (320g) icing sugar

Method

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F. Grease three 8cm x 18cm, 3 cup (750ml) capacity loaf pans; line bases and long sides with baking paper, extending the paper 2cm over the sides.
  • 2
    Split vanilla bean in half lengthways; scrape seeds into a small bowl. Add eggs, sugar and honey; beat with an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until thick and creamy. Add buttermilk and oil; beat until combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; stir in combined sifted flour, cocoa, mixed spice, baking powder and soda.
  • 3
    Grate beetroot coarsely. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice from the beetroot into a small bowl; reserve for ruby frosting. Fold grated beetroot and hazelnuts into cake mixture. Spoon mixture evenly into loaf pans; smooth the surface.
  • 4
    Bake cakes for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave cakes in pans for 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto a wire rack to cool.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, make ruby frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter in a small bowl with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until pale and smooth. Add sifted icing sugar; beat until combined. Add enough of the reserved beetroot juice (from step 3) to tint frosting; beat until smooth and evenly coloured. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • 6
    Spread tops of cakes with frosting; scatter with extra hazelnuts.

Notes

The juice from vibrant vegies and fruit like beetroot or pomegranate makes a natural alternative to artificial food colourings.Cake, up to the end of step 4, can be made a day ahead; store in an airtight container.You can also use the cake mixture to make one large loaf. Grease and line the base and long sides of a 12cm x 23cm (4¼-inch x 9¼-inch) loaf pan; bake at the same temperature for 55 minutes.

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