By Jen Inglis
Post Valentines tiny cakes full of love and chocolate! I realise now this should have been last week's recipe. These little cakes are adorable, pink, chocolatey and basically have Valentines written all over them, but I’d totally forgotten about Feb 14th. And I’m blaming lockdown. Dates and times don't seem to mean very much these days and it's tough to work up the energy and enthusiasm for celebrating. But pretty cakes with minimal effort are a sure way to lift February/lockdown blues. They are also excellent for softening the heart of a loved one that didn't get a reciprocal thoughtful gift on the day (sorry James!) or for sending out to friends to remind them you love them and celebrate the fact that we will be able to share cake together one day soon.
Bundt tins are very handy because you can create a visually stunning cake without expert decorating skills and without much artistic flair. Bundt cakes are generally decorated very simply as the gorgeous carved effects from the tin do all the heavy lifting, and you just want to accentuate that. They are very moist when baked so generally a much wetter batter than a standard cake recipe, and this lends itself very well to vegan recipes which often rely on fruit or veg purees to bind. You can bake this mix in a regular cake tin if you double the mix and bake for longer than a standard cake recipe (test with a skewer after 50 mins). Don’t be put off by the beetroot puree. Like carrot cake it isn't the stand out flavour once baked, but brings a fruity earthiness to the chocolate and cocoa that makes it a great accompaniment to coffee!
Chocolate & Beetroot Mini Bundts
100g dairyfree spread plus extra for greasing tin
150g beetroot puree (Boil beetroots in their skins for 45 mins or until a sharp knife goes in smoothly. Cool in cold water and then the skins should simply slough off with your fingers. Blitz with a blender until smooth puree. Allow to fully cool before using. Drain and retain any excess juice to make the pink icing.)
175g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
40g cocoa powder plus extra for preparing tin
200g soya yoghurt
80g dark chocolate chopped
1tsp vanilla essence
To Decorate (optional)
100g Icing sugar
3 tbsp Beetroot juice
100ml Coconut milk
150g dark chocolate chopped
Dried flowers/sprinkles/grated chocolate
Bundlette tin/cake tin/muffin tin
Pan for boiling beets
Carefully prepare your bundt tin. Grease every nook and cranny then gently place some cocoa powder in and roll around the inside before pouring out any excess so that the inside of the tin is fully covered to prevent sticking. This is key for keeping your cakes looking beautiful and coming out of the tray cleanly. I had a few casualties.
Melt spread and dark choc in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Sieve dry ingredients together in bowl then add beet puree, chocolate mix and vanilla essence. Mix well. Will be quite a mousse-like texture.
Add to bundtlette tin and bake at 170 degrees for 22 minutes. A skewer in the centre should come out clean when ready. Allow to cool in tin for at least 5 mins then place a baking tray over the top of tin and flip. Leave to cool with the tin over the top and hopefully they will come out smoothly!
Mix beet juice a tablespoon at a time with sieved icing sugar till a nice dripping consistency and spoon over cooled cake OR heat coconut milk till just coming to boil then remove from heat and mix in dark chocolate till melted then drizzle over cooled bundts. Or dust with icing sugar or cocoa powder. Decorate with dried flowers or grated chocolate.