125g dark chocolate, preferably 70% cocoa
100ml canola oil
300g unseasoned cooked beetroot (precooked, vacuum packed)
4 extra large eggs
5ml vanilla extract
5ml baking powder
30ml good quality cocoa powder
125g ground almonds or almond flour
50g dried sour cherries or coarsely chopped pitted prunes, or soft dried apricots
Optional: 50g chocolate or 10ml icing sugar to finish the cake
Optional: cream to serve; a splash of brandy
23cm round cake pan, base lined with baking paper and sprayed with non-stick baking spray
Heat oven to 180°C
Break the chocolate in pieces in a small bowl and add the oil. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, whisk until smooth and put aside.
In a food processor combine the beetroot, eggs, vanilla, salt and baking power and whiz until thick and creamy (a couple of minutes), the add the ground almonds, followed by the smooth chocolate/oil mixture. Whiz for a few seconds to mix well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and now dot the fruit evenly over the surface. It will sink into the cake mixture. I find this works well to ensure even distribution of fruit.
Bake at 180°C for 35-40 minutes. When tested by inserting a skewer in the centre of the cake, it should come out clean/dry.
Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the tin.
To serve: Serve plain or melt the remaining chocolate & drizzle it over the cake. Or simply sift the icing sugar over to form a snow or experiment with a stencil. As this is such a moist cake the icing sugar will ‘dissolve’ in to the surface after about 3 hours!
Serve with lightly whipped cream. If it is a dessert a splash of brandy may be added to the cream. I used plain cream but served brandy with it on a chilly wintery evening.
This cake is free of dairy and gluten.
It is very moist and keeps for several days.