Lockdown Chocolate & Beetroot Cake


If you’re first-time visitor to my blog, this is where I keep sort of a journal to document what goes inside my brain and what is cooked in the kitchen.

In this time of instability –we’ve been living this in Lebanon since August/September 2019, don’t let anyone convince you the instability was caused by the October 17 Revolution. The movement was caused by the greed and constant incompetence and failures of the government and ever-reigning politicians– we are trying to find comfort in anything that reminded us of a good time, a good memory, a joyful moment, a pleasant smell, or a comforting flavor.
Everyone and their mother (literally) is making cinnamon rolls and banana bread and starting a sourdough starter. I am guilty of the last two. I had to… A boy needed his good loaf of bread so I started the starter on March 27, but only now I got a good loaf. I’ll leave that for a future post. But now, I MADE CAKE!!!

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YES. I made cake. I couldn’t care less about the calories or fat or whatever. Every time I try to eat healthy, or less carbs, or no bread (like seriously,…. I AM MAKING BREAD AT HOME) I feel weak or down and I just want to crawl to bed and do nothing at all. So I revert and make myself happy with a good plate of food I like. I have to admit though, although I am eating more often, I am not overeating. But it is the lack of walking that I used to do to get anywhere is what’s affecting my body. But to hell with that… I want to come out of this with a (sort of) healthy mental state.
SO EAT THE DAMN CAKE, Anna Mae, and worry later 😂

With higher priced resources, due to a fluctuating exchange rate of the currency against the US dollar and due to relying massively on importing rather than producing, we at home are carefully buying ingredients and crafting recipes that don’t cost a fortune, or finding alternatives. I am not buying butter or cream as their price has doubled. I still have a pack in the fridge from months ago. Eggs too. I am trying to be creative in the kitchen and still eat well, but find ways to minimize spending.

I made this cake and frosted it with things I have at home using ingredients that can be easily sourced. It was a bit of a challenge, but I am always up for one.

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In this recipe, I used milk and dark chocolate. I had both at home. I drizzled the cake layers with chocolate infused wine, a bottle I bought many months ago and need to use (spring cleaning anyone?) but you may use any liquor you like and find matching or none at all. The cake is really moist and can go without. The moisture and sweetness of the cake is enhanced by beetroots. I roasted them (i hate boiled beetroots) and crushed them in a processor. Unfortunately, the beautiful red color these beetroots produced didn’t stay when the cake came out of the oven 🤷🏻‍♂️

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TINY cookin5m2 Beetroot cake -A92A9046.jpg

Lockdown Chocolate & Beetroot Cake

Makes Two 18cm cakes

Ingredients

  • 3.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1.5 cup beetroot puree*
  • 2 cups water**
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tahini to coat the panFROSTING
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 30g butter (softened)
  • 2 tbsp liquor ( I used chocolate wine, but bourbon or whiskey or rum can
  • work well too)

Procedure

  • Brush two 18cm cake pans with tahini and set aside. Mom’s tip and it really works
  • Heat the oven to 180ºc
  • Prepare the beetroots by roasting them until tender. Peel them and crush them in a processor with some of the water from this recipe until no chunks are visible (the smoothest you can)
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, eggs, oil, and beetroot puree and mix until combined.
  • Once everything is incorporated and the oven is at the right temperature, add the vinegar and mix till the bubbles are mixed in
  • Pour into the cake pans and bake for 25-30 min until a wooden skewer is inserted and comes out clean
  • Cool on a rack until completely cooled 
  • For the frosting, put the chocolates and milk in a heat-proof bowl over a double boiler and melt completely. You could also do it in the microwave in 30 second intervals and stirring in between
  • Allow the chocolate to cool slightly then add the butter and liquor and beat with an electric whisk until it starts to get stiff
  • If the mix doesn’t harden, check if it is still warm and allow it to cool. Or the liquid used was too much. Adjust it by adding more melted chocolate or softened butter.
  • Chill the frosting until the cake is ready
  • When the cake has cooled, slice each layer into two (optional) and start by putting the base on your flat presentation dish, brushing the cake layer with more liquor and a generous spread of the frosting. Repeat until all layers are stacked
  • Cover the top and sides with the remaining frosting and spread it to create a “nude frosted cake” look
  • Chill the cake then decorate with fresh fruits or foraged edible flowers before serving
    *I used around 300g beetroots that I roasted until soft and crushed in a small food processor with the water/liquid from the recipe

    ** Or any liquid of choice. I used a spice infusion of cinnamon and cloves and anise that I boiled in 3 cups of water until they reduced to 2 cups

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