I have to share this recipe.
Things have not been easy in Beirut. But I have to do what I do.
Sharing joyful stuff does not reflect the current situation and I don’t intend to share posts where I’m all negative and nagging. I’ve been trying hard to share genuine content on my Instagram account; reflect what’s going on in the country, go against the general “resilience” mentality that we keep getting brainwashed into, and speak my mind.
Despite all what’s going on, we try even for the tiniest efforts to do things that make our day. This cake was that for me. I am always on the lookout to try new stuff keeping in mind a good balance of quality and cost effectiveness. Flour is still subsidized by the government, but the prices of sugar and cooking oils and butter and cream (among others) are getting out of hand.
For this cake recipe, I relied on beetroot to create an attractive cake and use less of ingredients that are now getting higher in price. Using beetroot gives this cake tenderness and moisture which allows for less oil to be used. Beetroots also have natural sweetness to them, which means less sugar. As for the frosting, I am not a big fan of heavy buttercream frostings and prefer ganache instead. To replace cream and lots of chocolate for the ganache, and to give this beautiful red color, cooked grated beetroots give sweetness and texture and some chocolate gives the flavor. I use labneh, which is slightly tangy, to increase the dairy fat content in this recipe and make it a creamy fluffy ganache. Adjust the sweetness to your liking with powdered sugar.
Budget Friendly Beetroot Cake
For the cake
- 100g (2 small) beetroot, grated
- 100ml vegetable oil
- 150g sugar
- 20g (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
- 300g (2 cups) plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup water (or other liquid of choice)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp vinegar
for the velvety ganache
- 30g (1 small) beetroot
- 70g dark or semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 tbsp thick labneh
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºc and line a small rectangular baking tray with parchment paper
In a large bowl, grate the beetroots and mix with the oil and sugar until the red color comes out
Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, water, and baking soda and mix
Once combined, mix in the vinegar and pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until set and an inserted skewer comes out clean
Allow it to cool completely before frosting
For the velvety ganache, grate the beetroot and barely cover with enough water and allow it to cook, covered until completely cooked and soft, around 20-25 minutes
Chop the chocolate and add to the cooked beets and remaining water. Leave for a few minutes then stir until the chocolate is melted and combined. Leave it to cool
Once cool enough, fold the labneh and powdered sugar (add more to taste) until combined
Spread over the cake and serve
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