Beetroot and chocolate cake with feathered icing

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Chocolate traybake includes grated beetroot which makes for a beautifully moist, sweet cake. It’s topped with chocolate feathered icing – which looks impressive but is so easy to do.

Ingredients

  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 50g/1¾oz cocoa powder
  • 150g/5½oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 175g/6oz light muscovado sugar
  • 300ml/½ pint sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g/8oz raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated (about 2 medium beetroots)

For the icing

  • 200g/7oz milk or dark chocolate (about 35–40% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 200ml/7fl oz pouring double cream
  • 50g/1¾oz white chocolate, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160CFan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 30x23cm/12x9in a baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and sugar. Stir a little using a wooden spoon then gradually mix in the oil and beat until combined to give a thick batter. Once smooth, stir in the grated beetroot.
  3. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for about 35 minutes, or until risen and springy to the touch. Remove and set aside to cool before icing.
  4. To make the icing, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the cream and place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow the water to touch the bowl). Stir until the chocolate is melted, smooth and glossy. Leave to cool a little so that it is a thick pouring consistency (this won’t take long depending on room temperature). Pour the icing over the cold cake and spread it out to cover the top of the cake completely.
  5. To decorate, melt the white chocolate in a small bowl set over a saucepan of hot water. Spoon into a small piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle or a small food bag with a tiny corner snipped off. Pipe the chocolate in parallel lines across the cake, about 2cm/¾in apart. Using a cocktail stick, drag through the white chocolate in directions across the cake to give a feathered effect. Allow the chocolate to set a little before cutting into 12 small squares.