INGREDIENTS FOR THE SPONGE (ONE CAKE SERVES 12):
- 2 medium beetroot, scrubbed with stems trimmed
- 450ml almond milk, unsweetened
- 1 tbsp cream of tartar
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 120g coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 350g unbleached plain flour
- 110g cocoa powder
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
INGREDIENTS FOR THE GANACHE:
- 200g no-added sugar dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 100ml water
FOR THE DECORATION:
- 80g desiccated coconut
- 120g sunflower seeds
- 60g whole almonds
- 2-3 tbsp goji berries
METHOD FOR THE SPONGES:
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (170° fan or gas mark 5).
- Wrap the beetroot in foil and place on a baking tray. Roast until tender to the tip of a knife (approx. 1-1.5 hours).
- Remove from the oven and let cool before peeling. Dice the flesh and place in a food processor with 2 tbsp water. Purée until smooth, scraping down the sides from time to time.
- Spoon 250g of the purée into a bowl and set aside. Cover and chill the remainder for later.
- Reduce the oven to 180°C (160° or gas mark 4). Grease and line two 20cm/8" spring-form cake tins with greaseproof paper.
- Whisk together the almond milk and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl. Set aside until curdled, about 5 minutes.
- To the same bowl add the beetroot purée, sugar, melted coconut oil and the vanilla extract, beating well for 30 seconds.
- Fold in the remaining ingredients to make a smooth batter. Divide this between the cake tins, smoothing their tops flat with the back of a damp tablespoon.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until risen and dry to the touch; a sharp knife should come out virtually clean from their centres. Remove to a wire rack to cool in their tins.
- Once cool, turn out and discard the paper.
METHOD FOR THE GANACHE:
- Combine the chocolate and water in a heatproof bowl. Set it over a half-filled saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted and thick.
- Remove from the heat and let cool until thickened to a spreading consistency (approx. 10-15 minutes).
METHOD FOR DECORATING:
- Sit one sponge on a cake stand and cover its top with half the ganache. Sit the second sponge on top, pressing down gently to adhere to the ganache.
- Spread the top of the cake with an even layer of the remaining ganache. Decorate with the desiccated coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds and goji berries before slicing and serving.