My wanderlust with chocolate took me, this time, to baking a chocolate cake with beetroot. Chocolate combines well with a variety of flavours, such as chilli, cardamom, sea salt, pistachio, lavender, Earl Grey, exotic spices, raspberry, coffee, mint, cherry. Beetroot is a somewhat newer addition to the list, but, nevertheless, a worthy one.
I was surprised to find the texture of the cake pleasantly moist and gooey inside, just like a chocolate brownie's that hasn't been over-baked. Beetroot adds depth and sweetness that combines well with chocolate.
A couple of notes before baking
I used Valrhona's Manjari and Caraïbe chocolate varieties. Both are dark chocolates, but the first has a distinctively fruity taste and the second a rich well-balanced one. The combination of the two worked well.
Beetroot is a tough vegetable that takes time to soften, so although the recipe called for baked beetroots, I boiled them instead and saved time. Besides, boiling vegetables doesn't dry them, as sometimes happens when baked.
I also used hot beetroot water instead of coffee. Coffee is one of the origins of sleep problems and as we tend to be over-caffinated in the West, I didn't think it was paramount to add a shot of espresso to the batter. Coffee is likely to be served with the cake anyway.
The original recipe is by Nigel Slater, which was then adapted by David Lebovitz in Paris. It is David's version I liked best and, thus, I had my cake and ate it.