Chocolate and beetroot combine with walnuts, apple and figs to make a soft and moist treat that showcases the best thing about autumn – the produce.
I was inspired to make this dish as I had a beautiful fresh pomegranate from the farmers market sitting in the fruit bowl waiting to be put to good use. A trip to the veggie garden where the last of the summer beetroot were waiting to be harvested and the copious amounts of walnuts collected from our trees this year were all the inspiration I needed.
My mother always used to put veggies into cakes so I never thought beetroot chocolate cake was terribly strange, after all, everyone loves carrot cake don’t they? However not everyone thinks that way so I’m out to convert them. Adding grated veg to a cake batter is a great way to keep the cake moist, decreasing the need to add so much oil/butter, gives it a great flavour and obviously adds a nutritional boost -because cake that is good for you is always a good idea hehe.
These treats are proof that chocolate cake can actually be healthy. There is no added butter, only super healthy olive oil used, no added sugar thanks to the use of Stevia (I used Natvia baking stevia), plenty of fibre from the wholemeal spelt flour and walnuts. They are also jam packed full of nutrient rich fresh produce, from the omega 3 packed walnuts, the beetroot which may help to lower blood pressure and the pomegranate which is a fantastic source of antioxidants and polyphenols.
Did I also mention they are easy to make?
- ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp cocoa
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarb soda
- ⅔ cup wholemeal spelt flour
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 1 cup finely grated beetroot (about 1 medium) firmly packed
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup chopped dried figs
- ⅓ cup + 1Tbsp Stevia
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 free range egg (or 1 flax egg)
- ⅓ cup milk (I used soy)
- 80g 70% cocoa dark chocolate
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Line a standard muffin pan with muffin papers or spray with cooking oil.
- Sift the cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and flour into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except for chocolate and pomegranate and mix well until combined.
- Spoon mix into muffin pans until ¾ full.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes (this will depend on your oven, if it is fan forced or runs hot, check them a bit earlier) or until set in the middle. They will still be somewhat moist.
- Allow to cool then remove from muffin papers.
- Melt the chocolate then spread a little over the top of each cake. Top with pomegranate arils.