Tuesday 20 September 2011

Nigel Slater's Beetroot Seed Cake

A re-run of an episode of Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers that involved him baking Beetroot Seed Cake coincided with a glut of beetroots. As my little edible garden started to reap results, so did everyone else's.

His cake looked delicious and was a good way to use the beetroot but there seemed to be quite a number of processes to make it. You have to grate the beetroot and separate the eggs, beating the yolks but whisking the whites. I new it wasn’t going to be the simplest or quickest cake to make.

So I made this whilst I had other things on the go in the kitchen, Persian soup called Abghoosht Tehrani for 'A' that doesn't require much skill, but you have to hang around to keep an eye on it every so often.

I found the recipe on Nigel Slater's lovely website here...it really is one of my favourite sites beautifully yet simply designed. The only things that I changed were leaving out the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. The recipe uses self raising flower and has whisked egg white in it so I didn't think it needed any extra raising agents. 

The batter was very runny...partly because I let little bit of yolk get into the white before I whisked it and so it didn't get as light and airy as I would have liked. So I put the loaf tin on a baking tray in case it spilled out...but it was fine. 

It rose perfectly until I opened the oven door to have a peak. I have to explain that my oven door is broken. A couple of weeks ago it just fell open in the middle of baking something! Because it's broken I had it open a little longer than I should have, and the cake dropped a little at one side. But it was still good.

The other change that I made was to omit the drizzle of icing with poppy seeds. Purely because I don't have a very sweet tooth and this is already a sweet cake with equal amounts of flour and sugar. 

It's a really substantial, moist cake that tastes like its doing you lots of good. It's great to have something like this when you're in a mad rush and don't have time for breakfast. Really worth while making when you have time.

...and the thing I had dreaded the most...grating the beetroot wasn't half as messy or difficult as I'd anticipated. In fact I found the whole process very therapeutic...maybe something to do with knowing how good it was going to be for me...


  1. I do love a Nigel Slater recipe- his food, and style of writing, is just so enjoyable and pleasurable. I haven't tried this recipe before, but it will definitely be one to bookmark!

  2. I know what you mean Kate he just seems like such a nice person too. I think this is just the kind of thing to make on a rainy autumn evening...and it looks like we're about to have lots of those soon...by all accounts snow too...!