I’ve always been intrigued by beetroot in cake recipes, the flavour is quite strong and in many ways I don’t think it suited to a dessert. I don’t like it used in red velvet cupcakes and prefer to use a food colouring which doesn’t interfere with the subtle chocolate flavour and yields a deep rich colour which I feel the cupcake must have. However with a chunky carrot cake like this, the earthy flavour of the beets work really well. The cake is not too sweet, so the caramel cream cheese frosting adds a luscious decadent dimension.
This recipe for carrot and beetroot cake comes from well known South African cookbook author Carolie de Koster. Carolie now lives in New Zealand where she continues to create all kinds of magic around food. I have been a fan of hers for years, so was delighted when she discovered my blog last year and we have been virtual friends ever since.
This recipe which was first published in Carolie’s book ‘Home Bakes’ in 2001 by Lannice Snyman Publishing. It’s one of my main baking reference books but sadly out of print. Carolie has very generously given me permission to use it here. I have created my own icing which I adapted from the maple cream cheese icing used on the apple cake I posted recently. These feather light frostings are my new absolute best way to finish off a cake.
I thought this fabulous cake with so much X-factor would be the perfect recipe to include in my series of recipes I’m producing for Sasko Flour.
*Cooks Notes – I have used a ready-made caramel in the frosting as it’s just as nice as anything you can make at home. I had some proper Argentinian dulce de lece which was perfect, but tinned caramel treat or any other ready made caramel will work perfectly. Caramel treat is condensed milk that has be boiled in the tin for 2 hours to form caramel and we are lucky enough to buy it very easily in South Africa. I grated the vegetables on the finest blades on my grater which took a little bit of effort, so if you have a husband, friend or child lurking around, get them to pick up that job.
- 3 free-range eggs
- 300g (375ml) sugar
- 175ml sunflower oil
- 1t (5ml) vanilla extract
- 60ml hot water
- 250g (500ml) Sasko Cake Flour
- 1T (3t) 15ml baking powder
- pinch of salt (1ml)
- 1t (5ml) ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 200g (500ml) finely grated carrot
- 100g (250ml) finely grated beetroot
- 50g (125ml) coarsely chopped walnuts or pecan nuts (plus a handful of extra for decorating)
- 100g butter
- 100g Muscavado (dark brown) sugar
- 80ml (1/3 of a cup) dulce de leche, caramel treat, ready made caramel
- 240g cream cheese
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and grease or spray and 23cm ring cake pan.
- Separate the eggs and put the egg yolks in a food processor or electric mixing bowl with the sugar, water, vanilla and oil. Mix until combined.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and spices over the bowl and mix / process until smooth.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff.
- By hand stir the beet, carrot and nuts through the mix, and gently fold through the egg whites.
- Fill the cake pan and bake for 40 – 50 minutes until the cake has turned brown, is firm to the touch and when sharp knife comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin and make the frosting.
- To make the frosting – beat the sugar, butter and caramel until pale and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and continue beating until the mixture is smooth and the sugar granules have worked out.
- Spread a thick layer all over the cake and decorate with a few extra chopped nuts.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.
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