Beetroot, surprisingly, really goes well in a cake. It not only adds a lovely natural sweetness, but being rich in beta carotene, makes this cake not only delicious, but also rich in nourishing ingredients. Just don’t tell your children it contains beetroot and they’ll be asking for more!
Preparation time: about 25 minutes
Cooking Time: about 55 minutes
150g (5oz) white self-raising flour
75g (3oz) wholemeal self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
175ml (6fl oz) rapeseed or sunflower oil
225g (8oz) light muscovado sugar
3 eggs, separated
150g (5oz) raw beetroot, coarsely grated
juice of ½ lemon
75g (3oz) sultanas
75g (3oz) mixed seeds, such as pumpkin sunflower, hemp or linseeds (flaxseeds)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan oven) mark 4.
- Lightly butter a 20.5 x 9 x 7cm (8 x 3½ x 3in) loaf tin and line the base with baking parchment.
- Sift together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon into a large bowl, then tip the bran left in the sieve into the bowl (if you want to keep it).
- In another bowl, beat the oil and sugar using a food processor or electric whisk until well combined.
- Gradually beat the egg yolks into the oil mixture.
- Fold the beetroot into the mixture, then add the lemon juice, sultanas and seeds.
- Fold the flours and raising agents into the mixture while beating slowly.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until light and almost stiff.
- Fold gently into the mixture using a large metal spoon.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 50–55 minutes until risen and firm, covering the top with a piece of foil after 30 minutes.
- Insert a skewer into the centre – the cake should be moist inside but not sticky.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool completely on a cooling rack.
To make it even softer to eat, serve with custard, cream or yoghurt.