Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
It’s almost Mothers Day and I made a cake. It’s no ordinary cake either (like I’m ever normal!). It’s made with lots of beetroot and there’s not a sweet potato in sight, although I can recommend using this Chocolate Sweet Potato Frosting if you want to make dessert dinner too. Before I share with you the recipe for this Chocolate Beetroot Cake I want to talk about being a mum.
All mums know that it’s the hardest, most rewarding, often frustrating, always changing role that you’ll ever have. Some days you feel like you could write the book on great parenting and then there are those days when you just want to go back to bed, crawl under the doona and pray that when you emerge your little devils have miraculously become gentle angels.
One of the many things that change when you have kids is your self image. Your feeling of self worth is wrapped up in so many factors; your work, how you look, your relationships, your goals and achieving them. When you have children so many of these things change. You no longer have your work status and the daily adult interaction to remind you thast you used to be a high functioning professional. Your body no longer looks or acts the same; there’s lines, droopy bits and an immediate need to cross your legs after a big sneeze. Your old friends may no longer understand why you don’t want to go partying on a Saturday night (unless you count feeding and burping a baby from midnight til 3am), and your partner may not fully understand just how tired you really are. Your once lengthy goal list is now shortened to trying to leave the house with a clean top and remembering to eat lunch.
When I had H 7 years ago I felt an overwhelming sense of loss of identity. I no longer had my work and the feedback from patients that would feed my ego. Even when I went back to work it was only once or twice a week and I no longer felt like I was part of the team. Instead of work being a chance to ‘be my old self’ it was a struggle between feeling guilty about being away from my child and the need to hold onto the person that I used to me.
Even now, 3 kids later, I still struggle to work out who the hell I am some days. My ‘me time’ is focused around exercising (or Netflix) and much of my self esteem comes from my ability to complete my weekly training goals, which is hard with kids, a ‘dysfunctional’ body (as my physio called it) and a niggling knee injury. When most of your life is focused around the needs of others it’s hard to allow yourself the time to be your self, and even then it’s hard to find the space to go to the toilet alone.
One of the things that I find quite grounding is baking. It brings me back to a basic task where I know what I’m doing and I can be both creative and practical. It’s also something I love to do and most days I’m pretty good at it (but not yesterday when the spring form tin didn’t lock in place and the cake batter ended up all over the bench). I may be having an identity crisis and a self image breakdown, but in my kitchen I know who I am…unless it’s the witching hour and hangry kids are causing me to have a melt down.
This Chocolate Beetroot Cake is almost too good to be true. It’s made with lots of beetroot, but not too much that it ruins the taste of the cake, and it’s topped with the most delicious Raspberry and Beetroot cream. Instead of raw Beetroot I have used boiled and purred Beetroot. I find this takes away some of the bitterness of the beet and helps to hide any evidence of a hidden veggie in the cake. The Chocolate Beetroot Cake and the Raspberry and Beetroot Cream will use 1 ½ to 2 boiled Beetroots.
The Chocolate Beetroot Cake is based on my very popular Chocolate Zucchini Cake. It’s the simplest cake to make. The eggs are whisked and then the wet ingredients are added. The dry ingredients are then added to the same bowl and then you bake. The only trick to this Chocolate and Beetroot Cake is making sure the Beetroot is well purred, otherwise there’ll be lumps in your beautiful cake. I puréed my boiled Beetroot in the blender then added the milk and purred it some more. This made sure there were no chunky bits.
Making a cake for Mothers Day is a great idea, even if it means you have to make it for yourself (which should mean that you get to eat it all too). I’m thinking of making myself this Snickers Cake and getting the kids to bring it to me as breakfast in bed!
- 2/3 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa, unsweetened
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 6 Eggs
- 3/4 Cup cooked and pureed Beetroot (to cook beetroot; place a whoole, unpeeled beet in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer on medium for 45 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted all the way though. Allow to cool then remove the skin)
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup (Rice Malt Syrup can be substituted)
- 3/4 cup Milk (of choice)
- 2 teaspoons Vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 150 grams Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 150 grams cooked, peeled and diced Beetroot (to cook beetroot; place a whole beetroot in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer over a medium heat for 45 minutes, or until a knife can be easily inserted all the way through. Allow to cool before peeling and dicing)
- 1 1/2 Cups Coconut Cream (place 2 400ml cans of Coconut Cream/Milk opened in the fridge overnight. Spoon off the thickened cream and discard the watery remains)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (Optional, depending on tartness of berries)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Water
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 175C/350. Grease an 8 inch (20cm) cake tin.
- Sift the coconut flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. Add the salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk the eggs for 5 minutes, or until fluffy.
- Meanwhile, palce the beetroot and the milk in a blender and puree until cmobined. Alternatively this can be done with a stick blender.
- Add the beetroot/milk mix, maple syrup, vinegar and vanilla extract to the eggs and continue to mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated – about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl (you may need to do this a couple of times) and beat cake batter on medium/high speed for about 1 minute so that the batter is fluffy.
- Pour the batter into the tin and smooth out the top. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin before removing and frosting.
- Place the raspberries, diced beetroot, water and maple syrup in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool.
- Place the cooked mixture in a kitchen blender and process until pureed. Alternatively this can be done with a hand stick blender. Add the coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract and blend until well combined.Taste and if desired add extra sweetener.