Monday, 30 September 2013

Chocolate & Beetroot Chocolate Brownie Hello Kitty Birthday Cake

As a change from the now almost habitual Chocolate Train Cake, 8 years old today Sprout requested a cake from a few years ago - a Hello Kitty Chocolate Cake.

I made two of these before and can't remember which chocolate cake recipe I used, so I decided to make River Cottage's Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie recipe with some lovely homegrown beetroot from the Alresford Country Market and hide it in a cake.

Despite me thinking my round cake tin was a similar size to the shallow brownie tin specified in the recipe this cake rose quite spectacularly.  Better than anything I have made before (my bread always rises beautifully - my cakes don't), but took a lot longer to cook than the 20-25 minutes for the brownies.  After 40 minutes I was concerned that the outside was burning despite the inside coating a skewer like nutella.

But I need not have worried.  We have just had nearly half the cake as a birthday tea (with a main of Pesto Pasta as requested by the birthday girl) and it was beautifully moist, not burnt, and dare I say it possibly could have done with 5 minutes less cooking time.

The Hello Kitty face was made by cutting out a face from a colouring print out, placing it like a stencil on top of the cooled cake and dusting with with icing sugar through a sieve.  I cut out the eyes and nose from the sheet and used them as a stencil but have used Smarties before.


River Cottage Every Day's Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie Recipe
Prep Time: 20 - 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 - 25 minutes
Servings: Makes about 20

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

250g dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
3 medium eggs
250g caster sugar
A pinch of sea salt
150g self-raising flour (wholemeal ideally but white works well too)
250g beetroot, boiled until tender, cooled, peeled and grated


Directions
Grease a shallow baking tin, approximately 20 x 25cm, and line the base with baking parchment.

Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set the oven at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and put the bowl in it for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter start to melt. Stir, then put back in to the oven for a few more minutes to melt completely. Of course, you could melt them together in the traditional way, over a pan of hot water, but it is a shame not to exploit the warming oven.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Combine the salt with the flour, sift them over the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Fold in the grated beetroot – be careful not to over-mix or it will make the brownies tough.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes; when the brownies are done, a knife or skewer inserted in the centre should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Don’t be tempted to overcook them or they will be dry. Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting in to squares. 

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