We had a fabulous summer! My Mum stayed with us for 5 weeks, she travels over from NZ for the summer every second year, so it had been 2 years since she was last here. We made the most of our time together and my 3 daughters and I were devastated when she left this week. My daughters have been finding it very difficult to adjust to my Mum not being here after 5 glorious weeks spent with her. I am struggling too. My Mum means the world to me and I am finding it difficult not to have her hugs, boundless energy, encouragement, support and DIY/gardening/housework expertise readily available. Phoning and Skyping are just not the same. It will be 2 years before we see her in person again - unless either of us wins the lottery.
As a result of our summer spending quality time together as a family I am very behind on recipe blog posts, reviews and blogging about some brilliant events I attended over the summer. As of this morning I have 237 emails in my Inbox. There is an overwhelming amount of blog related work I need to catch up on. Please bear with me as I try to catch up over the next few weeks.
My 3 daughters are back at school which means that after a month off I am back working two 12hr night shifts each week as well as fitting in school governor meetings, school events, taking care of two allotments and trying to keep the house and my family clean, tidy and organised.
As always my priority is my family and everything else has to fit in around them. I will catch up, as and when I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
Now it's time for . . . . . . . cake!
Beetroot Chocolate Cake
We harvested some delicious beetroot from our allotment and used some in a delicious salad for dinner. The remainder I included in this delicious cake. A word of warning, use gloves to grate the peeled beetroot or you will end up with very pink stained hands - yes I did learn that the hard way!
250g butter, softened but not melted
375g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 free range eggs
250g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
450g finely grated raw beetroot, peeled first
100g grated dark chocolate, I used Divine 70%
30g of cocoa powder
Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan. Grease and line a deep 23cm spring form cake tin.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them a little at a time whilst beating the mixture. This will help stop the mixture from curdling. Should the mixture start to curdle add a tablespoon or two of flour.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder over the cake batter and fold in gently but thoroughly. Cut the stalks off the beetroot then peel the beetroot with a potato peeler. Finely grate the beetroot then add to the cake mix. I used a box grater to grate the beetroot and a coarse microplane grater to grate the chocolate. Finely grate the chocolate and add this to the cake mix also. Stir gently until thoroughly combined.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin. The mixture will be a gorgeous mauve colour. This cake took 1 hour 20 minutes to cook in our oven. To check if the cake is cooked carefully insert a skewer in to the centre. It should come out relatively clean so if you still see pink batter on the skewer your cake will need to bake for longer. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 – 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.