This delicious cake is a slight adaptation on a Nigel Slater recipe. Beetroot non-believers won’t even realise it’s there.
Enough for 8-10
225g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
180ml sunflower oil
225g light sugar
3 eggs separated
150g raw beetroot, coarsely grated
½ a lemon, juiced
75g currants or raisins or sultanas
75g pumpkin seeds
For the icing ( optional)
8 tablespoons icing sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
a sprinkling of poppy seeds
Set the oven to 180°C/Gas 4 . Lightly butter a rectangular loaf tin (20x9cm, measured across the bottom, and 7cm deep), then line the base with baking parchment.
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Beat the oil and sugar, with a blender or a wooden spoon, until well creamed. Then add the egg yolks one by one.
Fold the beetroot into the mixture, then add the lemon juice, sultanas or raisins and the assorted seeds.
Gently fold the flour and raising agents into the mixture and give a couple of mixes with the spoon. If using a blender, have it on slow.
Beat the egg whites until they are light and almost stiff. Fold gently but thoroughly into the mixture, using a large metal spoon (a wooden one will knock the air out). Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, covering the top with a piece of foil after half an hour. Use a skewer or toothpick to test if the cake is ready. It should be moist inside but not sticky.
Leave the cake to settle for a good 20 minutes before turning it out of its tin on to a wire cooling rack.
To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix in the lemon juice until it reaches a consistency that will allow you to spoon the icing over the top and have some drizzle down the side. You can then scatter with some poppy seeds. If you can resist, leave the icing to set before enjoying.