Wear a pair of rubber gloves to stop
your hands from staining, then top, tail
and peel the beetroot – you’ll need about
400g flesh. Roughly chop and put into a
large bowl. Add a splash of water, cover
with cling film, then microwave on High
for 12 mins or until tender.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
While the beetroot cooks, butter then
line a 20 x 30cm traybake or small
roasting tin. Roughly chop the chocolate
and cut the butter into cubes. Tip the
cooked beetroot into a sieve, drain
off any excess liquid, then put into a food
processor or blender with the chocolate,
butter and vanilla. Whizz until the mix is
as smooth as you can get it. The chocolate
and butter will melt as you do this.
Put the sugar and eggs into a large
bowl, then beat using an electric hand
whisk until thick, pale and foamy, about
2 mins. Spoon the beetroot mix into the
bowl (it won’t look too pretty at this
stage, but bear with me), then use a large
metal spoon to fold it into the whisked
eggs. Try to conserve as much air in the
mixture as you can. Sift in the flour and
cocoa powder, then gently fold these in
to make a smooth batter.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake
for 25 mins or until risen all over, with
just the merest quiver under the centre
of the crust when you shake the pan.
Cool completely in the tin, then cut