I am terrible at following recipes with more than a handful of ingredients, and with more than a dozen steps.
I get frustrated, and my creative take on each ingredient or step means I tend to veer so far from the original recipe that I end up with a pile of yucky mush.
That is what I expected to happen when I tried to make a beetroot based raw chocolate cake. I wouldn’t usually attempt such a thing, but I told my kids if they tidied their own stuff I would have time to make chocolate cake. I dropped half of the ingredients all over the floor, so had to adapt a bit and was scared of the results. However, the outcome was as or more delicious than any refined version.
Because I veered so far from the original cake recipe, there needn’t be any fear if you need to do the same. Take a chance and think creatively about what ingredient might also meet that requirement to come to the same end. A sweet and moist chocolate cake that is healthy, filling and makes great use of iron rich beetroot and brazil nuts (healthy fats and selenium).
The “red velvet” look of the base comes naturally from the beetroots.
Here are the needed ingredients:
For the cake:
2 cup Brazil nuts
4 medjool dates (pitted and chopped)
1/2 cup raisins
½ cup maple syrup
big pinch of himalayan salt
⅓ teaspoon nutmeg
⅓ teaspoon paprika
⅓ teaspoon cinnamon
3 medium beetroots, peeled and finely grated
½ cup cacao powder*
5 tablespoons of coconut flour
3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds and hemp seeds (I happen to have these already in a jar in my kitchen). The original recipe called for 2 cups of desiccated coconut and 3 tablespoons of psyllium husks, but I didn’t have these, so improvised.
*If feeding to children, I tend to replace ½ the amount of cacao in the recipe for calcium-rich carob powder.
½ cup of melted cacao butter
½ cup raw cashews, soaked for two hours and drained
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon barley miso
A generous splash of pure organic apple juice cordial 25-50ml
Pulse Brazil nuts in food processor until bread crumb like.
Set aside in a bowl.
Add dates raisins maple syrup salt nutmeg paprika and cinnamon and pulse until combined.
Add to the bowl of nuts. Add the grated beetroot and stir through.
Add coconut, cacao powder, coconut flour and ground hemp/flax seed to bowl and stir until well combined.
Transfer all the mix back to the food processor and pulse until combined.
Transfer the mixture into a 9 inch springform cake tin, lined with parchment paper and press evenly. Put in the fridge for half an hour until firm.
Melt cacao butter over a double boiler. Cool.
Place cashews, cacao powder, maple syrup, lemon juice, in high powered blender and process until combined. Scrape down sides and add water apple juice and miso, then blend until smooth and ganache like.
With motor running on low, pour in cacao butter and blend until mix is smooth.
Spread icing over cake. I then decorated mine with goji berries and some drops of cacao butter (to look like melted white chocolate buttons) but you can use whatever, and place cake in freezer to set, approx. 15 minutes. Keep in fridge until you are ready to slice and serve. Be careful not to tear the parchment paper in an eager-to-eat frenzy, as I did with the first slice (as pictured).
Author: Hannah Martin
Volunteer Editor: Melissa Horton/ Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Author’s Own
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