Beetroot & chocolate cake

I’m going to have to honk my hooter with this one.
This is based on my signature shit-free cake which I spent months perfecting & has been a staple source of happiness in our house for many years.
It’s currently being morphed into as many vegetable based variations as I can think of (aubergine & rose is next on the list despite the looks of imminent vomit on my kids’ faces).
As ever, determined to make things that people assume will be gross into something amazing, I have to say I’ve outdone myself with this one.
“Mind-blowing” & “That is the best thing I’ve eaten in my life!” were two of last week’s comments when it was sold in our local market… I think they were hungry but I’ll happily take that.
I haven’t totally perfected the vegan version as it does tend to sink a little in the middle, but to be honest no one seems to care!
If anyone has any tips though please I’d love to hear them.

100g almond flour
50g chestnut flour
25g tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon sea/ Himalayan salt
3/4 teaspoon bicarb
2 tablespoons cocoa/ cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil, goats butter or combination
1/3 cup honey, date syrup, maple syrup or combination
1/4 cup milk of your choice
2 eggs (or flax substitute, see below)
1/4 (or more) cup finely grated beetroot

I’ve never been one to follow the rule of ‘dry bowl, wet bowl’ when baking cakes… I’m sure there’s a reason for it other than creating more washing up but I’ve never experienced it, so as long as I can get away with ‘shove it all together in one bowl’, I will.
Common sense tells you it’s ideal to put the dry ingredients in first & stir them before adding the rest – so I do that.
With the butter & oil, it really doesn’t matter which you use, just be aware that if you use only butter, you might want to reduce the added salt. I find half & half works well.
• To make one vegan ‘egg’, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons water, leave to firm up in the fridge for 10-15 minutes then use as you would an egg.
• To make the cake, melt the oil/ butter & sweeteners in a pan & put everything else in a bowl.
• Combine it all well & pour into a tin.
• Bake at 180c for between 10 & 20 minutes depending on the type of tin. A traybake will take approximately 10, whereas a loaf tin will take nearer to 20.
• It’s ready when it’s not wobbly & the top bounces back a little when gently pressed.

• For the topping, use my recipe for ‘award winning chocolate’ (!) but half it as it makes 2 bars (or not), & use a rounded tablespoon of coconut oil to make the consistency more cake topping friendly. I think a sprinkling of freeze-dried raspberries finishes it off a treat.

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