Chocolate & Beetroot Cake
Cakes with root vegetables in them? Not as weird as it sounds when you think that carrot cake is one of the go-to classics. I love the addition of beetroot to chocloate cake – it adds a subtle earthiness as well as a purple hue, and makes it unimaginably moist and decadent. My friend Danielle told me about Bill Collison’s (AKA Bill’s) recipe. It’s fairly simple to make, but certainly has the wow factor – especially when adorned with pretty little edible flowers.
The beetroot must first be boiled for around half an hour before peeling and grating into the cake mix. There are not one but two fillings to this cake – the first is simply a couple of tablespoons of good cherry jam (another of chocolate’s best friends) and the other is a delicious buttercream made with icing sugar, cocoa powder, milk and butter. For the full recipe, check out Bill’s book, Cook, Eat, Smile.
M&M Piñata Cake
With an unexpected centre, this is the epitome of a celebration cake – and, as you can imagine, it went down a treat when my friend Jess made it for her son’s ninth birthday. The main sponge cake is a classic Victoria Sandwich recipe courtesy of Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, but the jam is replaced with a chocolate frosting, made with dark chocolate, cocoa, sugar, vanilla, cream, butter and cream cheese – which is also smothered over the outside of the cake. Mmm.
To make the centrepiece, use a round cookie cutter to remove the centre of the two inside sponge tiers and fill generously with M&Ms. And don’t waste the removed cake: you can use these round discs of sponge to cover with frosting and make into a mini cake!
I have to admit, I left out one of the main ingredients in the title of this one as I didn’t want to put you off. I’m sorry. That ingredient is *drumroll please*… black beans. Wait, wait… before you move on to the next recipe, hear me out: those little pulses add a delicious fudginess to the brownies – you won’t even know they’re there, promise! – but the superfood beans also add a ton of protein and fibre goodness.
This recipe comes from Melissa d’Arabian’s Supermarket Healthy and is made by pureeing the cooked black beans and then incorporating them into a mix of eggs, cocoa, sugar, coffee, vanilla, melted chocolate and chocolate chips. Flour and baking powder are added and the mix is then poured into the pan and baked for around 20 minutes. We chucked in some macadamia nuts for a crunchy twist.
Dime Bar Cheesecake
I was going round to a friend’s for a girls’-night-in recently and was in charge of pudding. Loosely based on a James Martin torte recipe, I whipped it up after work in next to no time. I am quite a fan of salted caramel – if I see the words on a menu I need no persuading from the waiter/waitress to order it – so I made double the amount, allowing me to glug some over the top for good measure. James Martin says to use salted caramel chocolates to decorate, but I found shattered Dime Bar worked just as well. Needless to say, it quickly got scoffed by my friends, and we discovered it goes rather well with a glass or two of prosecco.
Do you have any chocolicious recipes you would recommend? I am particularly partial to chocolate and peanut butter desserts – if you have any ideas for me please get in touch and share the love this World Chocolate Day!
Toni Waterfall – Cookery, Food & Drink A mum with a food-loving family and a part-time pescatarian lifestyle, I’m always searching for delicious and practical ideas to try in the kitchen. My all-time favourite chef is Gordon Ramsay, but I’ve never made a bad meal using a Jamie Oliver recipe. Spaghetti bolognaise is the go-to meal in my household, but I also enjoy cooking curries from scratch – especially seafood ones. I always say that balance and seasoning are crucial elements of getting a dish right. I’m constantly thinking ahead to the next meal and am an impulsive, daily supermarket shopper, as opposed to a weekly bulk buyer.