With Mother’s Day on Sunday, I wanted to share something that is easy to make, yet close to every Mother’s heart – getting veggies into our kids. And with this cake, they’ll be gobbling them up. How many kids like beetroot anyway? Mine does, but if they don’t, don’t even tell them it’s in it. Or, if you’re simply looking for an easy tea cake to make to share with the special women in your life this Sunday, this might just be it.
Combining beetroot with chocolate was not my idea. I came across this recipe a while ago in a Recipes + magazine and tore it out, adding it to my stash. It sounds daft, but it is absolutely divine! And the fudge icing is melt-in-your-mouth delicious! The other week I was having one of my chocolate moments, when I neeeeded chocolate. And this has sufficient to satisfy even the most chocoholic among us. The beetroot flavour is very mild and to anyone who doesn’t know it’s in the cake, I’m absolutely certain they wouldn’t suddenly say: You tricked me! There is beetroot in here! I’ll be enjoying a slice or two of this cake for my Mother’s Day morning tea this Sunday.
As we get closer and closer to Mother’s Day, I’ve been taking special note of all the mothers in my life lately. Meaning mothers of boys on my son’s soccer team; mothers of children at school; mom’s on the PTA; my friends who are moms…and all I can say is that I am so very, very proud to be called a Mom and be in the same group as you.
On Monday afternoon two of the soccer moms could drop their boys off for practice, but as they have other children who were unwell, they couldn’t stay to take the boys home again. Another mom stepped in and a lift club was formed. Today at golf I was chatting with a mom and a friend of hers walked past. They waved and yelled greetings, swapping: How are you? Fine thanks! But then they both laughed and looked at each other and I noticed they looked a bit tired. The one smiled and walked away while the other and I kept on chatting. She explained, “I know just how she feels, rushing around taking kids from one activity to the next or juggling to get siblings to various commitments – tired!” We laughed some more. Isn’t it great? This calling of Motherhood is a blessing to be appreciated and revered. A good friend’s “baby boy” started school the other day and she’s had to endure the emotion of closing one chapter of daycare and opening the next chapter of boyhood. The first day he ran off with his friend without a good-bye glance, but the second and third have been hard, with him having to be pried off her. She was eventually in tears. I remember that happening to me at daycare with my little man, but if you have to work, you have to work. I barely made it out of the building before the flood of tears burst through.
I respect women who decide that Motherhood isn’t for them by choosing to not have children. I would rather people use their right to chose (and I’m not talking about abortion here) rather than have children they aren’t sure they want. It is a lifetime commitment. The highs are the highest while the lows can be extreme. We eat, sleep, breathe and feel our kids very existence from the second we wake in the morning to the final moments before we drift off into a well-deserved sleep at day’s end. We comfort concerns, wipe away tears, listen to stories, do homework, bake, cook, wash, clean, do wardrobe clear outs, the list is endless. If we are lucky, we get to watch our children grow into responsible, well-balanced, contributors to society.
So today I dedicate this chocolate cake and my love and support to all the wonderful Mothers out there who do what they do each and every day, willingly, albeit it a little more tired on some days than on others. Let’s stick together and support each other. After all, we’re the only people who truly understand what it’s like to be a Mom.
500g raw beetroot, trimmed*
150 g butter, at room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk
100 g dark eating chocolate, finely chopped
Fudge Icing (below)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160° fan-forced. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20 cm (base measurement) square cake pan with baking paper, extending the paper up over the rim. (A brownie pan works well).
- Place the unpeeled beetroot in a pot of boiling water (boil the kettle, no need to wait for cold water to come to a boil on the stove-top – takes ages!) and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel and then chop before processing finely in a food processor.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until they are light in colour and very creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
- Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and add the milk, stir (don’t beat) until combined.
- Stir in the beetroot and chocolate until well mixed and spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Level the surface.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand the cake in the pan for 0 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
3 cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
100 g butter, chopped
80 g dark eating chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup milk
- Place the butter, chocolate and milk into a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth.
- Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into the the chocolate mixture and whisk/stir until combined and smooth. We don’t want lumps.
- Chill for 15 – 20 minutes or until the icing is thick and spreadable, then coat the top (and sides if you wish) of the cake generously.
* I don’t advise using tinned beetroot, but you can if that’s all you can get your hands on. Check it isn’t the spiced/flavoured kind and drain all liquid – a 450g tin should be fine.