A decadent dessert that is so tasty, it is hard to believe there are veggies hidden inside.
Recipe and styling by Illanique van Aswegen
Photographs by Adel Ferreira
Beetroot and dark chocolate meringue cake
- 6 egg whites
- 200g castor sugar
- 30ml (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
- 30g ground almonds
- 90g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 5ml (1 tsp) fresh ginger, finely grated
- 100g beetroot, roasted and grated
- 40g beetroot, boiled
- 180ml (¾ cup) fresh cream
- 120g white chocolate, finely chopped
- vanilla ice cream, to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 120°C.
Line the bottom of a 22cm cake tin with some baking paper and spray the sides of the tin with cooking spray.
For the cake, beat the egg whites using an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Add the sugar in 3 batches and whisk until it reaches stiff peaks.
Whisk in the cocoa and then, using a big spoon, fold in the almonds, chocolate chunks, ginger and beetroot. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and bake, 2 hours. Turn the oven off, do not open the oven door for at least 20 minutes, then open the door slightly and leave the cake to cool down in the oven for another 30 minutes.
For the ganache, roughly chop the cooked beetroot and combine it with the cream in a saucepan over a low heat. Remove it from the heat just before it starts to boil. Using a hand blender, blend the cream and beetroot together until the beetroot is coarsely chopped but not puréed, a few seconds. Strain the beetroot from the cream and pour the pink cream over the finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Stir until it melts. (The heat from the cream will slowly melt the chocolate until it becomes a sauce.)
Serve the cake in slices and drizzle with the silky beetroot ganache.
It is best to eat the cake immediately after it has cooled, as the meringue loses its crispness if left standing too long.