Monday, 16 June 2008


I made this pink fruit and nut cake last night. It was a delicious spice cake that I made with the help of my new cookbook.

The cake has raisins and walnuts with spices. This cake also has a secret ingredient. Let me show you the process in reverse and you see if you can guess what is in it.

The batter was really pink and thick. Next time I will add more milk because it was also not as moist as I would hope.

I pretty much bought the cookbook because of this one recipe. Otherwise I would never have the patience to do so much mixing. Here I am trying to fold the stiff egg whites into the mixture. I ended up using three bowls (!): one for the dry ingredients, one for the wet ingredients, and a third to whip the egg whites.

Here are the wet and dry bowls. I like that the recipe calls for wholemeal flour and not very much sugar. (These two items are clearly factors in making this a low GI recipe, and hence more healthy.) The wet ingredients are very pink, eh?

Have you guessed? What is the mystery ingredient that makes this cake so pink? Well, you've heard of carrot cake; this one was beetroot cake. The books says the practice of sweetening cakes with root vegetables is actually centuries old. I was so inspired by the idea of a beetroot cake that I had to buy the book when I read it. Here's the recipe in case you are similarly inspired.

Pink Fruit and Nut Cake

2 cups (250 g) wholemeal flour
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, allspice, and ground ginger
1/3 cup (75 g) sugar
2 medium (200 g) beetroot, peeled and grated
1/2 cup (50 g) sultanas
3/4 cup (50 g) walnuts, chopped
100 ml vegetable oil
1 ripe banana, mashed
3 eggs, separated
50-75 ml milk (but next time I am going to use double this)
Greek yoghurt or reduced fat creme fraiche, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a 20 cm (8 in) round pan.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, spices, and sugar in a large bowl.

In a second bowl, mix the beetroot, sultanas, walnuts, oil, mashed banana, and egg yolks.

In a third bowl, whisk the egg whites to the stiff peaks stage.

Add the beetroot mixture to the dry ingredients. Add enough milk to make a dorpping consistency (what does this even mean??). Gently fold in a tablespoonful of egg white before folding in the rest.

Pour the batter into the lined tin. Bake for about 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack and serve with Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche.


PretTy FoodSyth said...

Two things: I can see a hobby of food photography down the road, and we're looking forward to you making this here in the summer.

Kevin & Sonya said...

your always cooking something. you should start a recipe blog !

Kevin & Sonya said...

I hate stiffened egg whites