In search of the Real Red Velvet


I often get an idea for what I want to cook, then spend hours hunting through recipe books, magazines, or on-line for the right recipe.  Sometimes I find it, sometimes I don’t.

I love using fruit or vegetables in the food I make but winter offers a limited selection.  This means I need to be a bit more creative to find the right ingredient. I’ve been doing a bit of baking with beetroot lately, Chocolate Beetroot Cake and Chocolate Beetroot Brownies to be precise.  One of my favourite salads consists of grated fresh beetroot, apple and carrot dressed with orange juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil. It’s so simple and delicious.  Sometimes I can’t stop eating it.  Another favourite is Roast Pumpkin and Beetroot Salad with Goat’s Cheese and Hazelnuts.

Beetroot is such a versatile vegetable.  It doesn’t have to be pickled (although that’s good too) but for many people that’s the only way they’ve eaten it.  They say that don’t like it but haven’t experience the true sweet earthiness beetroot has to offer.

I decided (actually I had beetroot in the fridge needing to be used) that I wanted to make a cake with beetroot that wasn’t dominated by chocolate.  The answer: Red Velvet Cake.  I’ve been fascinated by red velvet cake but turned off by the need to use huge amounts of red food colouring to achieve the desired colour. So naturally I started to look for a recipe that used beetroot instead.

My hunt for a Real Red Velvet Cake recipe using real natural ingredients led me here:

It was almost what I was after but not quite.  As you may know I’m not always content to just follow a recipe.  I just put all the ingredients into the food processor but it didn’t come together the way it should have.  The tin I used was too big for the amount of batter.  The result was a flat dense cake, delicious but disappointing.  I gave a taste to the girl that lives behind the shop.  She suggested I call it mud cake, so I did and it sold like hot cakes!

Not one to give up easily I made it again using a smaller pan, and it rose to the top, just like it should.  I’ve since made this cake a few more times and I’m finally happy with the results.


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