You will need (for the cake):
- 250g 70-80% cocoa solids chocolate
- 3 large organic free range eggs
- 250g light muscovado sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 4 tablespoons good maple syrup
- 40g self-raising flour
- 20g cornflour
- half teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 50g cocoa powder
- 50g ground almonds
- 250g raw beetroot (peeled and finely grated)
- 100ml very strong black coffee (not instant, please!)
- 30ml extra virgin olive oil
- 150g 70-80% cocoa solids chocolate
- 3 tablespoons very strong black coffee
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons good maple syrup
For the filling:
- Half a jar of good quality black cherry jam
- Dip a pastry brush into the olive oil and grease a 20cm springform cake pan. Set aside.
- Set your oven to 140ºc (fan) or 160ºc (conventional).
- Melt the chocolate over a pan of barely simmering water and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod, add the eggs, maple syrup and sugar and then beat vigourously with an electric whisk for three minutes until light and fluffy.
- Gently fold in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
- Fold in the beetroot, chocolate, coffee and oil, again, until thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour your cake mix into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf for ninety minutes, after which time, remove from the oven, cover with foil and return to bake for a further thirty minutes.
- Test to see if the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer. If it comes out clean, it's done. This is a moist cake, though, remember, so it won't come out spotless. If it's really messy, return it to the oven for another five or ten minutes and then test again.
- Now, take all the ingredients for the topping and melt, again, slowly over a pan of barely simmering water. Once everything's melted, mix together gently and set aside to cool.
- Once your cake is done and cooled on a wire rack, slice it in half, spread the bottom layer with the cherry jam and pop the other half of the cake on top.
- Pop your cake, now, onto a plate and cover the top and sides with your chocolate topping.
It's utterly delicious. Serve with a hot drink, coffee or, surprisingly, tea! Rooibos is a perfect accompaniment!