- 300 gram (91/2 ounces) beetroot (beets), peeled, cut in 3cm (11/4-inch) pieces
- 350 gram (11 ounces) dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
- 185 gram (6 ounces) butter, chopped
- 6 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup (100g) ground hazelnuts
- 1 teaspoon dutch-processed cocoa, for dusting
- 1 1/2 cup (330g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 cup (250ml) water
- 2 small beetroot (beets) (200g), peeled, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cup (360g) crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoon icing (confectioners') sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1Cook beetroot in a small saucepan of boiling water for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Process beetroot and reserved liquid until smooth. You should have 1 cup beetroot purée.
- 2Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F. Grease a 22cm (9-inch) springform pan; line base and side with baking paper.
- 3Stir chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth.
- 4Whisk eggs, extract, sugar and ground hazelnuts in a large bowl until combined. Add chocolate mixture and beetroot purée; whisk to combine. Pour mixture into pan; cover with foil.
- 5Bake cake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until cooked around the edge with a slight wobble in the centre. Lift up edge of foil to release steam. Refrigerate cake for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- 6Make candied beetroot. Stir sugar and the water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Add beetroot; cook for 20 minutes or until beetroot slices become slightly translucent and syrup thickens. Using two forks, transfer beetroot from syrup to a baking-paper-lined oven tray to cool. Reserve 1 cup of the syrup; stir in juice.
- 7To make sweetened crème fraîche, whisk ingredients together in a small bowl until soft peaks form.
- 8Place cake on a platter; dust cake edges with cocoa. Spread top of cake with sweetened crème fraîche. Top with candied beetroot and drizzle with reserved syrup.
Use a mandoline or V-slicer to slice the beetroot into thin rounds for candying. They are available from kitchen stores and Asian supermarkets. DO-AHEAD: The cake and candied beetroot can be made a day ahead. Store separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
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