I Can’t Believe It’s Beetroot Cake

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Read the interview? Now try one of Susan Jane White’s sinfully good recipes…

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that older women taking supplements might die younger than non-users. Why? Supplements may deliver too much of a good thing, since nutrients can be toxic at high doses or over long, unsupervised periods. Or perhaps pillpoppers delegate accountability for their health to multivitamins rather than addressing their diet?

We can all agree on one thing: a diet rich in fruit, veg, beans and basketball will rarely backfire. I’m not saying you’ll live forever (Dragon’s Den still has to crack that one), but we’ve nothing to lose by eating fresh, unadulterated food. A good diet is the best health insurance you can give your family, not a packet of lab-created pills.

I’m obsessed with beetroot right now. It’s one of the tastiest veg on my superfood sonar. (My toddler isn’t much convinced.) It may seem odd, but beetroot and chocolate are quite the couple. They get on better than Vladimir Putin and Gerard Depardieu. And the toddler is none the wiser.

2 cups pitted dates

125g cacao or cocoa powder

1 cup puréed beetroot (about

4 cooked baby beets from a

vacuum packet)

2 tablespoons tamari

4 medium eggs

1/2 cup extra virgin olive


2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons baking powder

natural coconut yoghurt, to

serve (obligatory)

Serves 16–20


Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F. Grease a 20cm round cake tin or springform tin.

Boil the dates in a small saucepan with about 3cm of water for 10–15 minutes. Purée in a high-speed electric blender. This should yield about 1 ½ cups of date paste. The recipe only needs 1 cup’s worth, so freeze the rest, use it in the Applesauce and Cinnamon Cookies on page 71 or scoff with natural yoghurt.

Purée the cocoa powder, beetroot and tamari with the date paste until sumptuously smooth. I cheat by using vacuum-packed beetroot with no vinegar.

Blend in the eggs, oil, vanilla and baking powder until thoroughly incorporated. Immediately pour the batter into the greased cake tin.

Once the cake is in the oven, lower the heat to 170°C/150°C fan/340°F – an important step. Bake for 40–55 minutes. You’re looking for a moist, rich cake, not a dry, fluffy cake. It’s closer to a ganache torte. Allow to cool, making sure you give it enough time to chill before removing from its tin. Serve with plenty of coconut yoghurt and a large spoon.

You can follow Susan Jane White on Twitter here and buy her new book here.

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