A twist on a passion fruit cake, this version contains grated beetroot and walnuts and topped with a caramel frosting. Plus it’s made with gluten-free flour, so even those on a special diet needn’t miss out.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease two 20cm/8in sandwich tins with a little oil and line the bases with non-stick baking paper. Add the beetroot to a sieve and press out excess liquid with the back of a spoon or using hands in rubber gloves to prevent the juices staining your hands. Then mix with the carrot and walnuts.
Add the oil, eggs and caster sugar to the bowl of an electric whisk and beat for 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a third bowl. Gently fold the beetroot mix into the whisked eggs then fold in the dry ingredients. Spoon the cake mixture evenly into the tins and gently ease into an even layer, being careful not to knock out the air.
Bake for 20–25 minutes until the cakes are well risen, golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes then loosen the edge and turn out on to a wire rack. Peel off the lining paper and leave to cool.
To make the frosting, whisk the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and water to a heavy-based pan and very gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Don’t be tempted to stir or you may crystallise the syrup. Increase the heat and cook for to 3–4 minutes until a golden caramel. Whisk into the cream cheese mixture in a thin steady stream then cool in the fridge until thick.
To finish the cake, put one cake on to a serving plate, spread with half the frosting. Add the second cake and spread the rest of the frosting on top then sprinkle with walnuts, if liked.
If you don’t feel very confident about boiling sugar then make up the frosting by beating the cream cheese with the butter then stir in 115g/4oz icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence.
This recipe is from The National Trust Cookbook, published by National Trust Books. Recipe photography by William Shaw.
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