BEETROOT AND CHOCOLATE CAKE
10ml baking powder
125ml good quality cocoa powder
300ml castor sugar
3 medium beetroots, cooked until soft
200g dark chocolate
Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar into a bowl. Peel and chop the beetroot and place in a food processor with the eggs and oil. Blend until smooth. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until well blended.
Pour the mixture into a greased and base-lined 20cm cake pan and bake at 180°C for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove and cool for 10 minutes before turning out on to a rack. When cold, ice with chocolate ganache.
Ganache: Combine chocolate and cream in a bowl and microwave on medium for 2 minutes or until chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool until thick enough to spread on to cake.
Use a dark, good-quality cocoa powder and your cake will have a rich, dark velvety colour similar to that of a red velvet cake.
PARSNIP AND HONEY CAKE
310ml light brown sugar
10ml mixed spice
500ml grated parsnips
1 green apple, peeled and grated
125ml chopped pecan nuts
10ml grated lemon rind
Cream cheese icing:
125g thick cream cheese
500ml sifted icing sugar
5ml vanilla extract
Grease and base line 2 x 20cm cake pans. Place the butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan and melt over a gentle heat. Pour into a bowl. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture with the parsnips, apples, nuts and rind.
Mix with a wooden spoon until well blended. Divide the mixture between the two pans and bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes until cooked. Cool for 5 minutes before turning out on to a rack. When cool, sandwich together with half the icing and spread the remainder on top.
Sprinkle with pecan nuts if desired.
Icing: Cream together the butter and cream cheese, add icing sugar and vanilla and mix to form a stiff icing.
COURGETTE AND PISTACHIO CAKE
250ml castor sugar
5ml vanilla essence
500ml grated courgettes
125ml chopped pistachio nuts
125ml ground almonds
5ml ground cardamom
5ml mixed spice
5ml baking powder
5ml bicarbonate soda
750ml sifted icing sugar
juice and rind of 1 lime
water to mix
chopped pistachio nuts for decorating
Beat the eggs and sugar until thick. Beat in the oil and vanilla essence. Stir in the courgettes and nuts. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the egg mixture. Spoon the mixture into a deep greased and base-lined 20cm cake pan. Bake at 170°C for 50-60 minutes until a skewer, when inserted, comes out clean.
Remove and cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out on to a rack. When cool, ice and sprinkle with nuts.
Icing: Place icing sugar in a bowl. Add lime rind and juice and enough water to make a thick, spreadable icing.
SWEET POTATO CAKE WITH CARAMEL GLAZE
15ml baking powder
5ml ground cinnamon
375ml mashed sweet potato
180ml warm water
375ml castor sugar
250ml dried cranberries
100g pecan nuts, lightly toasted and chopped
125ml caramelised condensed milk
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Combine the eggs with the sweet potato and, using a wooden spoon, mix until blended. Add the water, sugar and vanilla and mix well.
Add sifted dry ingredients then the cranberries and nuts. Spoon the batter into a greased 23cm ring pan. Bake at 170°C for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out. When cool, drizzle with glaze.
Glaze: Place the caramel in a bowl, warm slightly in the microwave then drizzle over the cake. Decorate with extra cranberries. - Saturday Star