I first made this cake on a cold Autumn day in London. I wanted something rich, comforting, and of course with chocolate but still relatively healthy. I started researching recipes and found one that looked, and sounded delicious, a combination I had never thought of before, beetroot and chocolate! Luckily I had just been to the Notting Hill Farmers Market and bought a big bunch of beetroot so I decided to give it a go. I invited my neighbour Caroline over and we waited for it to bake in the oven, both curious to know the outcome. As it was nearly done, this beautiful sweet chocolatey smell started to take over the flat, and I knew it was going to be a good one! We both had a bite and were in heaven, it was a perfect balance of natural sweetness cut with the bitterness of dark chocolate. So I recently had some beetroot sitting in the fridge and decided to recreate the cake, but this time making a gluten free version using buckwheat flour.
Buckwheat flour is a great gluten free alternative to whole wheat flours, also it is almost always organic as it grows very rapidly without the use of pesticides. It's high in protein which is great for vegetarians and vegans alike, and has a low glycemic index which means it slowly releases glucose into the bloodstream, which is beneficial for diabetics.
Beetroot helps reduce blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and also stabilises blood sugar. It is high in iron, which is great for women, as most women are slightly anaemic, and is also a great source of vitamin B6.
High quality dark chocolate and cacao are a great source of antioxidants, and mixing them with coconut oil super boosts your metabolism.
Do you need any more excuses to make this cake? I think not!
Recipe adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
- 2/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup / honey
- 70 grams good quality 70% dark chocolate, broken up into small pieces (I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate)
- 2 cups grated raw beetroot (approx. 2 medium beetroots)
- 3 flax eggs (1 ground flax egg = 1 tablespoons flaxseeds : 3 tablespoons water)
- 1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 5 tablespoons cacao powder pinch of salt (himalayan pink salt or sea salt)
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut (optional)
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.
Put the coconut oil in a saucepan on very low heat and add the maple syrup and dark chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate has melted and remove from heat.
Add the grated beetroot to the saucepan and mix well.
Whisk the flax eggs in a separate bowl and then add to the beetroot chocolate mix.
Sift all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then add in the beetroot chocolate mix, stir well until all ingredients are well combined.
Grease a cake tin with coconut oil and add the shredded coconut to prevent the cake from sticking.
Then pour in the mix and bake for 20 - 25 mins. The colour of the cake would have darkened and the top will have some cracks on it.
Remove from oven, let rest, if you can resist, and enjoy!