This cake is absolutely gorgeous - the beetroot gives it the most beautiful soft texture, and it is rich without being sickly. Partially nicked from "Cook Yourself Thin" (no, I'm not on the first diet of my life, this book just happens to have lots of great, everyday recipes in it).
250gm dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
3 medium eggs
250gm unrefined caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs maple syrup (not critical)
2 tbs honey
40gm self-raising flour
40gm plain flour
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
50gm ground almonds
250gm raw beetroot, finely grated
100ml strong black coffee
30ml sunflower oil
Set the oven to 160 degrees celcius.
Melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and set aside to cool. Beat the eggs with the sugar, vanilla, maple syrup and honey for 3 minutes with an electric hand mixer, until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the flours, bicarb, salt and ground almonds until fully incorporated.
Dab the finely grated beetroot with an old tea-towel to remove excess moisture (prepare yourself to have pink stained hands for the rest of the day), then fold into the mixture along with the melted chocolate, coffee and oil.
Pour into a greased cake tin and cook in the middle of the oven for 1 and a half hours. Cover the cake with foil and cook for another 1/2 hour. I misread this so I'm not sure how long I actually cooked it for, so use your judgement and check it with a skewer (it won't come out completely clean as it's a fudgey cake, but it shouldn't drag lots of mixture out with it!).
You could ice this with coffee flavoured icing, as I did, or just more melted chocolate, but personally I think it doesn't need any embellishing. A winner.
*Warning: this cake inspires adoration