No cake tin, no problem!
Believe it or not some of the Christmas cakes we made for Harrods when I worked at Fudges Bakery were made in small baked bean tins!
Improvising with what’s to hand can be really fulfilling. I’m following in the footsteps of both my mother and her mother by saving butter-wrappers for lining tins (it’s quicker than faffing with baking parchment, at least for the sides!). The tins I used weren’t from baked beans but sponge puddings…4″/10cm. (They were in the cupboard…)
I hadn’t tried adding beetroot to cake before but after seeing it on the ‘Breaking into Tesco’ TV series I thought I would. I just wanted to make the most of the depth of colour and softness, rather than replace sugar which was why Simon Rimmer was using it. And beetroot just happened to arrive in the latest veg box from Riverford so I roasted it and saved some for this experiment.
The recipe turned out well – very moist and dark; the beetroot flavour only detectable if you’re looking for it. With less cocoa it would make a good version of red velvet cake without adding red food colour. Click the more button if you’d like to see the recipe.
Ingredients (this mix made 2 x 4″ cakes and 14 muffins):
200g Cooked Beetroot (boiled or roasted – 200g is cooked weight of 2 x medium)
330g Unrefined Caster Sugar
120g Low Fat Natural Yoghurt
240g Sunflower Oil
1tsp Vanilla Extract
260g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
2tsp Baking Powder
1/2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
Preheat oven 170C/325F/Gas 3.
Put the Beetroot (peeled) in a food processor with the Caster Sugar and process until smooth(ish).
Add the Yoghurt, process until blended. Scrape down the mixture from the sides.
Add the Oil, Eggs and Vanilla, process until blended. Scrape down the mixture from the sides.
In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients and mix together by hand before adding to the processor. Process until blended.
The mixture is quite thick, so it’s easy to deposit into cupcake cases or muffin tins with a ‘thumb-release’ ice cream scoop.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes for muffins, 35 minutes for 4″ cakes.
Cool on a wire rack when the cakes are cool enough to handle.