Monday, October 08, 2007

A Twist on the Carrot Cake: Beetroot & Ginger Cake

My dad doesn't eat cakes. He's got a sweet tooth, alright, but he prefers chocolate over baked goods. He's also not into vegetables so much. His favourite meal would probably consist of roasted pork, pickled wild mushrooms, loads of cheese, all drowned with some Estonian beer. So when my parents came for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake last Sunday afternoon, I didn't tell them that I was serving a beetroot cake*. My mum did wonder what were the ruby pink speckles in the cake, but it was only after they had both eaten a slice that I told them it was a beetroot cake.

Neither one of them batted an eyelid, and both of them promptly helped themselves to another piece.

And I was one happy daughter..

* If you like carrot cake (and I do), then you're bound to like this cake (and I did). Beetroot gives the cake some moistness and sweetness, and you don't have to worry about this tasting musty or whatever else might put you off beetroot. I'll be definitely making this again, perhaps adding finely chopped crystallised ginger or Buderim ginger nibbles to the cake to further enhance the ginger-beetroot flavour combination.

Beetroot & Ginger Cake
(Peedikook ingveriga)
Based on this Pirkka recipe
Makes 12 pieces

4 large eggs
300 ml soft brown sugar, lightly packed
400 ml plain/all-purpse flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp of ground ginger, or 2-3 Tbsp crystallised ginger pieces
300 gram raw beetroot, coarsely grated
175 grams butter, melted & cooled

Whisk eggs with sugar until thick and light caramel colour.
Mix flour, vanilla sugar, ground ginger, baking powder.
Add the melted butter, dry mixture and grated beets to the egg-sugar mixture, folding gently.
Line a 25x25 cm or 25x30 cm baking tray with a parchment paper, pour the batter into the tray.
Bake at 200 C for 35-40 minutes, depending on the size of your tray, until the cake is dark golden brown on the top. Test for doneness with a wooden toothpick- if it comes out dry & clean, the cake is cooked.
Cool a little, then cut into squares.

Serve with a cup of coffee or tea. A dollop of ginger-flavoured whipped cream would be nice, too.


veron said...

Sounds like a great recipe to try. It's certainly so droolworthy! He.he..I like your dad, I'm not a vegetable person myself and would love a piece of that roasted pork -besides I think he would argue that mushrooms can be considered vegetables.

Pene said...

This reminds me of the "Thunder Cake" I made once. BTW, a beetroot cake was being made on ETV "Terevison" program this morning.

Alanna said...

And so they'll only know what was in the cake by reading your blog?! Funny!! I pass the beet-queen crown to you, dear Pille.

K & S said...

what a great way to get your veggies!

Shaun said...

Pille - It is always great to get one's parents to try something new. Your parents probably didn't bat an eyelid because they hae no doubt come to expect that you'll surprise them. I am incredbily fond and have loved it in a chocolate cake I once tried. Pairing it with ginger is an invitiation too good to decline.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Beets & ginger . . . that would seem to be a natural and yet I don't think I've seen it. If you don't surprise your mom & dad, you do seem to surprise me. This sounds very good.

Sophie said...

What an unusual combination Pille! All the beetroot cakes I've seen have been the dark chocolatey sort and they always sound a bit rich to me - yours sounds great.

TadMack said...

Now, that is one awesome idea. Beets have such a lovely natural sweetness when roasted anyway -- I think I'll take the ones I had saved to roast with herbs and serve with goat cheese and ... Oh, fine. I'll just roast them this time. But I'm going to try this! Anything you can put ginger and beets into is a definite winner!

Jeanne said...

Wow - that makes for a mighty pretty cake - looks like glace cherries! As a non-betroot lover I am intrigued by this & may have to give it a try. Btw, your dad and my dad seem to have the same idea about vegetables ;-)

swirlingnotions said...

This looks fantastic, Pille -- thanks for the recipe! I just made a carrot cake last week for my husband's birthday, but kept wondering what it would be like with beets in lieu of carrots. Now I have one to try!

Tartelette said...

I must make this and tell you if I can "trick" my beet-hating husband to try some one more time. He had some terrible pickled beets years ago and won't change his mind since then. Looks great!

Hedgehog said...

Can't wait to try this - made some pumpkin cake the other day, but once that's gone, beet cake it is!

Dzen said...

I do love beets... sounds scrumptious! It's my Saturday baking plan for the afternoon -- thanks for the inspiration.

Hedgehog said...

Made this tonight - it's delicious!

Pille said...

Veron – thank you!

Pene – we haven’t got a TV at home, so I didn’t know beetroot cake was being made in the telly, too. What a coincidence! A Thunder Cake??

Alanna – no, I did tell them after the first slice. And then they happily helped themselves to the second piece, so it wasn’t shocking apparently J

K&S – isn’t it?

Shaun – I think my mum’s quite happy to try new things, but my dad is more of the ‘meat & gravy & potatoes’ type. Beetroot & chocolate cake is next on my list..

Tanna – beet & ginger indeed!

Sophie – I’m keen to try the dark chocolate & beetroot cake..

Tanita – yes, beet & ginger go well together, be it roasted and served with melted cheese, or incorporated into a cake!

Jeanne – I know you don’t like beetroot, but maybe a tiny slice??

SwirlingNotions – yes you do J

Tartelette – let me know how the experiment goes! Pickled vinegary beets should be forbidden – they’ve made so many people averse to beetroot!

Hedgehog - so glad to hear that you liked the cake!

Dzen – you’re welcome! Let me know how you liked it!

Rachael said...

I guess since beets are where sugar comes from it makes sense! And that is one lovely looking cake. So great your parents liked it! I will have to try this!