Mandarin, Beetroot and Chocolate Cake

Throwing together an unusual mix of flavours can end in disaster (what was I thinking with that lager jam?) or self-satisfied triumph. This is one of those fortunate latter occasions. It was also one of those days when I needed a bit of luck. Our discerning foodie friends Guido and Claudia were coming for tea, and there was no room for error.


  • Beetroot -200g/7oz
  • Cocoa powder – 30g/1 oz
  • Plain flour – 115g/4 oz
  • Baking powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Salt – pinch
  • Caster sugar – 150g/5.3 oz
  • Eggs – 3 beaten
  • Plain dark chocolate -100g/3.5 oz  chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil stone ground with mandarins – 210ml/7.1 fl oz
  • Butter – for greasing the tin
  • Nutella or similar chocolate spread– 50g/1.7oz

Wash and trim the beetroots, put them whole in a pot of cold water and boil until cooked through.  Run under cold water and grate them. Preheat the oven to 375oF/190oC/GM5.

Sieve the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing  bowl, then add the sugar and mix. Beat the eggs and add them, then chop up the chocolate and add that. Finally add the grated beetroot, and olive oil and mix it all really well. Grease a 7” cake tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper then pour in the cake mix.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack. Once it’s cooled a little, spread a thin layer of chocolate spread on top and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche.Mandarin-Choc-Crema-Cake_72dpi_620px

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