The beetroots were perfect at the farmers markets this week. Perfectly round, deep and rich in colour and at a great price. I couldn’t refuse. Instantly I knew what I was going to make with them.
Beetroot has long been paired with dark chocolate in both sweet and savoury dishes particularly with game meats. The earthiness of the beetroot and the bitter sweat of the chocolate compliment each other. Roasting the beetroot unlocks the natural sugars, transforming it into the perfect accompaniment for some sweet dark chocolate cakes.
These little cakes are rich, moist and delicious, with an earthy undertone from both the besan flour and the beetroots. Naturally nutritious with antioxidants, protein, fiber and minerals, they not only taste great they are beneficial to you as well.
Gluten Free cakes often have the reputation for being dry and crumbly, this partly has to do with the absorption rate of the grain flours used. The addition of the beetroot remedies this by adding an extra moist ingredient. The crumbly texture is solved by using a high protein flour for the base structure. The protein from the besan helps to bind the cakes together.
Pureeing the roasted beetroot gives the cakes a beautiful red hue similar to a red velvet cake, and also means the beetroot is fully incorporated without any hidden chunks.
Topped with a little dark chocolate ganache and they become irresistible.
Little Roasted Beetroot and Dark Chocolate Cakes
125g butter, chopped into chunks
3/4 cup Raw Caster Sugar (or regular caster sugar)
1/2 cup boiling water
3 tbsp Coconut oil (or olive oil)
100g Dark Chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 cup Besan Flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp GF baking powder
3 medium beetroots (about 400g)
2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 200C.
Peel and quarter the beetroot. Place on baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake until the beetroot are caramelised and roasted through. Usually around 30-40 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool.
Heat oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Puree the beetroot until smooth with a stick blender or food processor.
In a heat proof bowl combine butter, sugar, coconut oil, water and dark chocolate.
Microwave for 2 minutes or until melted and slightly bubbling. Stir until all the ingredients come together.
In a separate bowl combine the besan flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Give a good whisk to incorporate.
Add in the 2 eggs and mix to combine fully.
Add the beetroot puree and stir to combine.
Fill the muffin cases 3/4 full and bake for 25-35 minutes. The cakes are ready when firm to touch and a skewer inserted comes out with some crumbs attached.
Once cooled top with some ganache and sprinkle with some cocoa.
The ganache recipe can be found here.
Raw Caster sugar can be found in most major supermarkets. Substitute with regular caster sugar or make your own raw caster sugar by whizzing raw cane sugar in a food processor until the granules are finer.
Besan flour can be found in health food shops or Indian grocers, some super markets or online. For more information on besan read this article.
The beetroot could be pre roasted a day or so ahead.
You could easily make this into 1 big cake, just double the recipe, line a 9″ springform tin and bake at 180C for 1-1 1/4 hours.