Nigel Slater’s chocolate beetroot cake: one of the best chocolate cakes I made


Putting vegetables in baked treats is not uncommon as they add moisture to the bake. We have shredded carrots in carrot cake and sliced zucchini in muffin – but beetroot in a chocolate cake? As I was watching Nigel Slater (in Simple Suppers) make a beetroot cake, I was going “what the hell was he thinking?”. Beetroot, when eaten raw, has a rich and earthy flavour. For some, this translates into a “mud taste”. It is not that easy to get rid of the “muddy” flavour. You can pickle, poach or roast beetroot but you might still be able to pick up that earthy tone. Hence, the idea of putting beetroot in a cake bewildered me. In his gorgeous cookbook, Tender Vol. I, Nigel Slater has not one but two recipes for beetroot cakes.

I chose the “extremely moist chocolate beetroot cake” as it has the least number of ingredients. And of course, I love chocolate. While I was making the cake, there were a lot of doubts going through my head. I was still questioning if the chocolate would complement the beetroot and whether I may end up producing a mud cake (literally).

After waiting impatiently for the cake to cool, I finally had a slice. It was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made. The cake was super moist (I might actually label it as juicy) and rich – I was in chocolate heaven. To my surprise, I could not taste the beetroot at all. The roasting of the beetroot brought out its sweetness, and toned down the earthy flavour, which then blended beautifully with the rich, dark chocolate.

The first time I made this cake, I under-baked it and it was the best mistake I ever made. The cake had a molten centre, and when sliced, the chocolate started to ooze out. You get a bit of the grated beetroot which adds texture to the cake. And it actually tasted even better the second day. This is the cake to make if you are looking for something rich yet with a touch of healthy goodness in it.

About Mandy Ng

Mandy’s journey into the culinary world began out of necessity–a means of survival whilst she was at university. She believes cooking should be simple and fun. Besides spending time in the kitchen whipping up hearty meals, Mandy also dreams of having a bottomless stomach that she can fill with all kinds of delicious things.