Friday, 19 November 2010

Nigel Slater's beetroot poppy seed cake good I made it twice. The recipe is included in Slater's Tender: v. 1, but it also appeared in the Guardian in 2007 and can be found online here.

It is a pretty good cake, but the other reason I made it a second time was to try out a simplification of the recipe. Slater calls for the eggs to be separated and the whites whipped until almost stiff, then folded into the other ingredients at the end. This seemed quite a faff (not to mention I now had three bowls to wash up). So second time around, I tried whisking up the (whole) eggs with the sugar until they reached ribbon stage, then gradually adding the oil with the mixer going. Once the oil is incorporated, the beetroot can be grated in directly, and the dry ingredients weighed straight into the wet and folded through: only one bowl to wash.

The texture and lightness of the cake didn't suffer noticeably for this economy, but the mixture was a bit wetter, perhaps causing the beetroot to migrate towards the bottom. There's nothing for it but to try the original method one more time to see if stiff whites prevent this.

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