Monday, 19 March 2012

Cherries, Berries and Beetroot Cake

This could almost have been a Random Recipe - I'd love to enter Dom's monthly challenge, but I couldn't do it honestly and still stick with the baking theme of the blog. I'd have to tidy rearrange my bookshelves to put all the baking books in one place first. The randomness comes from the fact that I wasn't looking for a cake recipe - I picked up Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet to check the recipe for Lemon and Almond buns, and it fell open at the page for Cherry Beet Cake (here's the same recipe from the Guardian).

I had half a pack of beetroot left over from the recent chocolate beetroot cake, and had recently stocked up with a pack of dried Berries and Cherries, and  Bonne Maman Berries and Cherries jam. They sounded like a good enough substitute for sour cherries and cherry jam, to me. No fresh cream for the filling, but it looked the sort of sturdy cake which would cope with a cream cheese frosting used as a filling.

There were no problems with the recipe, except that I thought there was far too much streusel topping, and only used about half of it, which gave an even coating on the top of one layer - any more and I don't think it would have stuck in place during baking.

The batter was a lovely pink colour after mixing, and I although was a little disappointed that it turned brown when cooked, there were still pink flecks of grated beetroot visible. This is how I like to see a beetroot cake - the beet itself playing a visible part in the proceedings, rather than hidden behind chocolate!

This was a solid, quite dry cake, and definitley needed the jam and cream cheese  filling. I used cooked beetrrot, and it might be that raw beetroot would make a moister cake. The flavour of the spices were predominant - the family thought it was a very Christmassy cake, and Hubs said it tasted like mince pies! The jam and the lemon in the cream cheese filling added a zing and a touch of  freshness to the flavour.

The recipe for the cream cheese frosting was also from Short and Sweet - I made a half quantity with 200g cream cheese, 100g unsalted butter, 100g icing sugar, the grated zest of half a small lemon and a teaspoon of lemon juice. The recipe advised to beat half the cream cheese with the other ingredients first, then beat in the rest of the cream cheese. I don't know if it was the addition of the lemon, or the proportions of cheese, butter and sugar, but this was one of the best cream cheese frostings I've ever made. It stayed thick and even set to hold it's shape - the photo shows an extra helping of the frosting beside the cake (in case I hadn't put enough in as filling, you understand!)


Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

Well it looks lovely and I'll enter it if you want? I love the chunky fruity look of it. Very rich. I'm thinking of doing a baking RR next month any way so you can join in then!

Suelle said...

It wasn't following the rules for this month's challenge, Dom, so please don't add it. I'll keep my eyes open for challenges I can enter! It might spur me on to put all my baking books together.

Crunchy Creamy Sweet said...

Love the originality of this gorgeous cake! I wish I could taste it. YUM!

C said...

Looks great and that cream cheese frosting really does look superb. Must try!

Chele said...

What a fantastic looking cake, love the studs of berries through the cake, but of course, its really the icing that makes my mouth water!

Katie said...

What an interesting looking cake. I love cakes like this when there are lots of different textures and flavours to come across. Shame it was a bit dry. Love the idea of the beetroot and cherries together

Annes S said...

I agree on it not staying pink when baked, my beetroot cookies were far more browner in colour!

Anyway I do really like the sound of your cake with the addition of berries and cherries mix in - I've seen it in the shops but hadn't tried it yet, will definitely give it a try out. I wonder if adding oil, instead of butter would result in a more moist result?

That frosting looks heavenly - I'm a sucker for cream cheese frosting! Will be definitely trying this version soon!

Suelle said...

Anne - I have only baked one beetroot cake which stayed pink - a Nigella Lawson recipe - it was so pretty!

I'm buying more dried berry mixes as exotic fruit seems to have become so expensive! Adding sultanas and/or raisins keeps the cost down.

I'm still not confident about exchanging butter for oil - I prefer to look for recipes using the right fat in the first place - but it might make the cake more moist.

Choclette said...

Now that cake looks truly mouth watering and I love how generous you were with the cheese filing. I eyed it up in Dan's book, BUT it hasn't got any chocolate in it. to be honoust (don't tell anyone) I'm getting a bit fed up with chocolate!

As for Dom's challenge, normally, I only use my chocolate books, but this time I thought I'd do it properly and just choose the first chocolate recipe I found after picking a random book and page - if that makes any sense.