Chocolate and beetroot are an unusual combination but one that works well.


  • low fat spread, for greasing
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) cocoa powder
  • 175 g (6oz) plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 200 g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 250 g (9oz) cooked beetroot in juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 200 ml (7fl oz) light olive oil
  • 100 g (3½ oz) plain dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 170 g (6oz) icing sugar
  • low-fat crème fraiche to serve


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180° C (350F/Gas 4).
  • Grease a 23cm (9") loose-buttomed cake tin with a little low-fat spread and line the base with baking parchment.
  • Sift the cocoa, flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
  • Drain the beetroot, reserving the juice, then put the beetroot in a food processor along with the eggs and the olive oil and blitz until smooth.
  • Now, make a well it the centre of the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon, beat in the beetroot mixture, a bit at a time to form a smooth batter.
  • Next, add the chopped chocolate and combine well.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepped cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool.
  • To make the icing, simply mix the icing sugar with a little of the reserved beetroot juice to make a deep purple pourable icing.
  • Drizzle the icing over the cake and serve with a dollop of low-fat crème fraiche.


Sally's top tips: Use light olive oil instead of butter. Blend the beetroot, egg and olive oil really well so there are no lumps. Remember that it is important to include some low-fat dairy into your diet to support your bones and circulatory system. A dollop of low-fat crème fraiche is a perfect accompaniment to a small slice of cake. This cake will last for 5 days and gets better with age!

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