Christmas is one of my favourite times of year, and why shouldn’t it be? Work is over for another year, there is food, friends and family everywhere; plus here the sun is out and I get to add a little colour to my office-pale skin.
This last semester was a trying one, but it’s now I can reflect at how much I actually achieved this year and feel a little accomplished. With all the students I had this semester, I felt buried under marking for most of my time at work, but outside of that, I did some pretty cool things too. I contributed to the writing of a book that will be published early next year; I completed some post-graduate studies (and took on further more) with quite reasonable grades; I moved into my own lovely little house by the bay and started a vegetable garden which I have been reaping the benefits of ever since; and apart from work pressure, this has been a pretty happy and satisfying year. Though there are many other things I am yet to achieve (and things I got to do this year which have to remain a surprise for a month or two yet), I feel this year has brought me closer to contentment than any year prior. It’s a good feeling to finish on.
Going back to my vegetable garden, I have to honour my promise to a few requests on Facebook and share one more recipe before the silly season takes over completely.
When I moved into my little house there were already a few gifts in the garden that I was able to collect over the past few months, one of those being some beautiful beets. As you know, I often make things for my students for their last class. I figure we have been discussing food all semester we may as well eat some. For one quite special morning class this year I decided to use up some of my beetroot and make them a beet and chocolate cake.
75g cocoa powder
180g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
200g caster sugar
250g cooked beetroot (or raw grated)
3 large eggs
200mL rice bran oil (you could also use, coconut or avocado oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Boil beetroot (skin on) until just tender. Run under cold water and the skin should just rub off in your hands. Use gloves if you don’t want to satin your hands. Puree the beetroot in a food processor.
Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and oil and blend until smooth.
Sift the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the sugar.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the beetroot mixture. Lightly mix.
Pour into a greased and lined 23 cm cake tin.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is firm when pressed with a finger and a skewer comes out clean from the middle. If it starts to get too dark on top you can cover it with tin foil until it has finished cooking.
Cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar to serve.
This is a beautifully light moist cake with a slight twist in the traditional chocolate version.
As I finish up for the year and blow my nose from my annual Christmas hayfever (which has afflicted me all year mind you but has now decided to really kick into gear), I’d like to wish you all a very safe and happy festive season and hope that 2013 brings you all lots of love, laughter, and good food!