Weekend Recipe – Autumn Beetroot Cake


We have now certainly fully transitioned into autumn. Bare legs have been replaced with opaque tights and light jackets with winter coats. And although some decorations have started to creep into stores and Christmas jumpers can be seen on the racks of clothing shops, let’s ignore the festive tinsel storm for another month and instead savor some autumnal treats and flavors in the next few weeks leading up to Halloween.

The decorations on the top of this beetroot cake remind me of autumn leaves so seem very apt at the moment. If you follow me on snapchat (bakemystyle) you will know already that I had a tricky time making these! But I eventually had a break through and can share the method with you. I would say though that it takes a bit of effort to make these and to be honest I probably would only make them again for a special occasion as you really need to keep an eye on them as they burn very easily!

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Autumn Beetroot Cake

Beetroot Cake

3 eggs
280g caster sugar
250ml sunflower oil
1 and a half tsps vanilla extract
300g plain flour
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1tsp salt
180mls buttermilk
170g grated cooked beetroot and a teaspoon or 2 of the juice
2 tsps baking soda
2 and a half tsps cider vinegar

20cm sandwich tin x 3 lined with baking paper

 

Rainbow Beet Decorations
Cup of water
Half a cup of sugar
2 or 3 beetroot a (I used a bunch of rainbow beetroot to give a variety of colours – I especially love the pink and white striped one!)

Cream Cheese Buttercream Icing
220g unsalted butter at room temperature
150g cream cheese
230g icing sugar

As I mentioned already there was lots of trial and error in creating these beetroot petals but it was worth it in the end! They look so pretty on top of the cake! To begin make a sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar with the water in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil stirring all the time, boil for 2 minutes and leave to cool. Meanwhile using a mandolin, slice the beetroot finely – be very careful those things can be lethal! Preheat your oven to 190°C regular/170°C fan. Soak the beetroot in the sugar syrup for a few minutes (if you have different colored beetroot divide the sugar syrup and put into separate bowls to soak so that the color won’t run!) Next take the beetroot out of the liquid and lay out on some paper towel to drain. Pat the tops of the beetroot slices dry to soak up any excess liquid. Once the slices are dry lay them out on a baking tray. It’s important that there is no liquid on the slices before you put them in the oven or you will end up with a hot sizzling mess – trust me!! Pop into the 2nd bottom shelf of your oven for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes take the tray out and turn over the beetroot slices and pop back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Repeat again turning the slices every 5 minutes until the slices have been in the oven a total of 20 minutes or until they are crisp yet colourful.

Keep an eye on the slices through out this process – you want to crisp up the slices while maintaining the vibrant colours of the beetroot as much as possible. Try to avoid the slices turning brown where possible. Use your judgement! 🙂 Pop the beetroot petals aside until you need them. If you make them a day in advance like I did pop them into an air tight container.

Now for the cake! Preheat your oven to 180C/160°C fan oven.

Before you begin make sure you have everything that you need ready. Weigh out the dry ingredients and sieve in a separate bowl and grate your beetroot and set aside.

Add the sugar and eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk together with a hand whisk or stand mixer. Add in the vanilla extract and combine. Next slowly add in the sunflower oil, continuing to whisk the mixture through out this stage. Add about a third of the buttermilk and combine with the eggy/sugary mix already in the bowl. Next add one-third of the flour mix and combine. Continue this alternation of buttermilk and flour until they are all combined. Next add the grated beetroot and its juices to the mixture and combine, this will give the batter in a wonderful pinky red colour. Finally, at the edge of the bowl add in the baking soda and pour the cider vinegar on top of it, it will fizzle and froth up. On a slow setting whisk this into the batter, once combined increase the speed and whisk on high for another minute. Pour one-third of the batter into each of the 3 lined sandwich tins. Pop into the oven for between 25 to 30 minutes (time may vary depending on your oven, mine took 28 minutes) To double-check that they are ready you can stick a metal skewer in, if it comes out ‘clean’,  the cakes are ready! Pop on a wire rack to cool.

My method to make the icing may be a little different. Basically I was making my icing and it curdled and I was so annoyed because cream cheese and butter don’t grow on trees so it was a pricy error!!! To avoid another disaster I took the following steps: Get 2 separate bowls and pop the butter into one and the cream cheese into the other. Using a spatula gently loosen up the cream cheese and smooth it out to coat the inside of the bowl. Set aside and turn your attention to the bowl with the butter. Whisk for a few moments on high-speed and add the sieved icing sugar bit by bit – to prevent the sugar going all over the place I sometimes mix the sugar in a little first with the mixer off for a minute and then fire it up to full speed – repeating this process until all the icing sugar has been added and the mix is smooth. Next gradually fold in spoons of the cream cheese until it had been combined and you have a delicious icing. I didn’t use a whisk at this point as I didn’t want to risk another icing disaster!!!

To assemble I flipped each layer of the cake so that the flatter bottom was on top making it easier to ice. Spread the icing evenly on each cake layer and stack on top of each other.
Arrange your beetroot decorations on the top of the cake and it’s ready to be devoured!!

Hope you give this cake a go! it went down a treat in work – one of my colleagues went as far as saying it is the best cake he has ever tasted!

Happy Baking!

M x

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