- 250g good-quality dark chocolate
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 250g light muscovado sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons clear honey
- 40g self-raising flour
- 40g plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 25g cocoa powder
- 50g ground almonds
- 250g raw beetroot, peeled and finely grated
- 100ml strong black coffee
- 30ml sunflower oil
- For the topping
- 150g good-quality dark chocolate
- 3 tablespoons strong black coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 3 tablespoons clear honey
- Preheat a conventional oven to 160ºC, or a fan-assisted one to 140ºC. With the help of a brush and a tiny bit of sunflower oil, grease the surface of a round 20cm diameter by 8cm high loose-bottomed tin and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until all dissolved, then set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, the scraped-out vanilla seeds, the maple syrup and the honey for three minutes with an electric hand whisk until pale and quite fluffy.
- Gently fold in the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa and ground almonds until fully incorporated.
- Using some kitchen paper, dab the grated beetroot thoroughly to remove some of the excess moisture. Fold in the beetroot, cooled chocolate, coffee and oil with the help of a spatula until thoroughly mixed together.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook in the middle of the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. After this time, cover the cake with foil and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean (although this cake is so moist that even when the cake is fully cooked, the skewer comes out looking slightly messy). Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- To make the fudge topping, melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then remove from the heat and add the coffee and the vanilla essence.
- At this stage the chocolate will seize up slightly, but it will relax back once you add the honey and gently mix in.
- Set aside to cool for 15 minutes before icing the cake.
Tip: Leave yourself plenty of time to make this cake because it is quite a lengthy recipe.
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