This deep purple beauty is dark and mysterious. She's nothing like what you'd expect-her flavours are beetroot and raspberry and between each peekaboo layer is spread with raspberry jam and dollops of pink vanilla buttercream. A few parts mystery, a few parts girl next door I called her Georgia.
If you find icing layer cakes a bit fiddly and a bit of a challenge then I would recommend giving this cake a go. Naked cakes are very easy as there is no icing on the outside to smooth and if you've piped some meringues I'm sure you will find piping the round dabs a cinch. And if you need to practice you can do it on a clean plate and then scoop up all of your practice pipes and reuse them again! The saying practice makes perfect really does come from repetitions of this I'm afraid.
I'm not so great with mixing colours-I was terrible at art class and I was sure I had bought a magenta food colouring but a harried riffle through my stash revealed that to be a strange sort of hallucination. So I had to mix my own which turned out very deep purple. Perhaps the beetroot powder contributed to that, I don't know.
I also made this cake when I wasn't allowing myself to go out for a week. You see I recently had a face peel as I always wanted to get rid of my freckles-they're awesome on other people but mine just aren't cute. Little did I realise that I was getting the "Kath and Kim peel" which meant that I would develop what some call "darkening" and I call scabs. And every time I would go to the mirror without makeup I would literally scream at my ghastly reflection. If someone mentions TCA peel to you Dear Reader, cancel the next 5 days' worth of activity afterwards.
Make up can cover it up-to a point and most of the marks were on the side of my face (but makeup doesn't really work on scabs, gross I know, I do try and avoid scab talk but now I can't stop). I hadn't banked on not being able to go out so I had a busy Monday. There was a radio interview, filming and lunch. I pretty much hid myself behind a curtain of hair on one side (yes I did get some odd looks). And then I was a terrible sight on Valentines Day the day afterwards. "These will disappear...I think!" I said to Mr NQN over Valentines Day dinner.
Eventually the darkening peeled off. Not much had changed but having barricaded myself in the only thing that really changed for me was the amount of food I had cooked having not allowed myself to go out! And we are redoing Valentines Day!
So tell me Dear Reader, were you good at art at school? Do you find icing layer cakes difficult? And have you ever had a face peel or had to stay indoors?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Beetroot & Raspberry Cake
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes (plus cooling time)
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 165g/5.8ozs. softened butter
- 165g/5.8ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 200g/7ozs. cake flour
- 2 tablespoons beetroot powder
- 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
- Raspberry flavouring
- Magenta or purple food colouring
For filling and frosting
- 100g/3.5ozs. raspberry jam
- 125g/4ozs butter, softened
- 4 cups icing or confectioner's sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pink food colouring
- Rose petals and fresh raspberries for decoration
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 160C/320F and line the base and sides of 2x11cm tins making sure to go a few inches above the sides. Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until white. Then add the eggs one at a time into the mixture making sure that they're combined well between additions.
Step 2 - Add in the food colouring, raspberry flavouring and then fold in the flour, beetroot powder and baking powder in and mix until just combined. Scoop into the prepared tins and bake for 40 minutes or until the centre when gently pressed does not sink and instead springs back. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and remove from tin gently and then allow to cool on a cooling rack completely. Slice each cake into 2 or 3 slices horizontally.
Step 3 - While it cooling make the buttercream. Whisk the butter with the sugar on low speed until combined and then increase the speed and add in the milk, vanilla and pink and whip for 5 minutes. Place it in a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
Step 4 - Spread jam onto one section of cake and then pipe round dabs around the centre and inside. Top with another section and repeat until all sections are used. Top with fresh rose petals and raspberries.