Just beet it, BEET IT, BEET IT, you will never be defeated

Hahaha sorry everyone but I couldn’t resist. I’m going a bit beetroot mad. Since roasting the beetroot earlier this week, I see the Jan edition of the Asda magazine has a recipe for roasted beetroot, sweet potato and feta cheese salad which looks delicious and ever so healthy. I’ve also seen some recipes for tarka dhal with beetroot added which has me intrigued. There is also a spicy cooked salad that I normally make with chillies, carrots and cabbage which I want to try with some raw beetroot added – will let you know how that goes when I do.

However, this recipe is for CAKE, glorious cake it’s so yummy when the wind is blowing up a gale and snow is smacking you in the face. Yesterday, I made Fiona Cairn’s Chocolate and Beetroot cake recipe. I had to tweak mine as I didn’t have any cocoa powder so used a block of 83% dark chocolate bought from Lidl*. I melted it in the microwave and added it to the wet ingredients.

The end result was a cake that didn’t taste very chocolatey (should have used the Green and Blacks instead) but it was very light and easy to eat. The beetroot flavour is not in your face; it’s subtle and gave a nice edge – I’m sure today it will be stronger. My kiddo doesn’t really like chocolate cake so she just ate the pink icing off the top – this is a good cake for pink obsessed girls.

I think the cake could do with a layer of buttercream coloured with the beetroot juices to just make it right for us. But you may prefer to stick to the original recipe which just looks amazing.

Here are some pictures to tempt you. I boiled my beets in the pressure cooker which took all of 10 mins!

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* a good substitution table for ingredients can be found here: Joy of Baking Ingredients Substition

Also on the Joy of Baking site, if you look under the chocolate recipes section, at the bottom is a very useful guide to all different types of chocolate ingredients.

And finally, get the Asda mag it has an useful article on the different types of fats

Bear with, bear with, bear with….

It might appear to the casual observer that I’ve abandoned this blog. Far from the truth but like a lot of you out there, I was busy with Christmas, then just plain lazy about updating the page. It takes time to write the posts and at the moment, I prefer just cooking, gobbling and crafting.

I have had some fun though. I do get stuck in a rut cooking the same-o, same-0 stuff. So I’m going to try to challenge myself this year to try new foodstuffs, budget and availability permitting. So far I have had a successful experiment with a chayote which I cooked using my dudhi shak recipe. If you are going to try it, then I recommend wearing gloves when you chop it as some people have written up about their adverse reactions to the juice. Funnily, once cooked, it’s fine and causes no reactions. I did like the smell of it when chopping which is reminiscent of raw mango.

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Next came the hachiya persimmon which was on sale in Morrissons 3 for a £1. How could I refuse. I love the bright orange colour and really enjoyed the fruit which has a taste a bit like a dry canteloup melon. Heartily recommend this to you all and if any of you have a good bake recipe using the fruit, please share.

I’ve found a new love in the shape of Cauliflower cheese. Now I know that’s not new or novel to many out there but it is to me. Cauliflower used to be for shaaks only but I do like the cheesey dish now too. The trick is to boil the cauliflower before you cover it in sauce and bake in the oven. Only problem with this one is that it’s very fattening. Fear not though and turn instead to the incredibly simple but delicious Oven Roasted Cauliflower ¬†from Emeril Lagasse. Even though I used cheddar and didn’t have chives, the result was so very delicious. I will be doing this one again very soon.

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The latest experiment was in the form of oven roasted beetroot and some red brusselberry sprouts – the latter are actually purple and green and come on a stalk from Asda. I tried cooking sprouts on Christmas day – they were hard little balls of yuk. Luckily, the brusselberry has revived my love of the sprout. I’ve never ever done beetroot so it took ages until I cut it up into wedges. Very tasty with some roasted walnuts. The only downside of the dish was the goats cheese which was vile. Next time I’ll use feta. The dish looks very empty as I cooked the stuff on a pizza night so the rest of the household got fatter while I tucked into natural goodness.

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