I’ve always adored beetroot. Whether pickled in vinegar and added to salads or roasted with herbs and carrots – it has a beautiful, wholesome flavour and packs a punch with its vivid purple hue. Recently however, I’ve had a hankering to add it to a dessert (my favourite cakes often feature a hidden vegetable, usually carrot, pumpkin or parsnip, so beetroot was only a matter of time).
So with the in-laws due for dinner it seemed like the perfect opportunity for this beetroot and chocolate tart. Sadly, we’ve now all come down with lurgy and dinner has had to be cancelled… the only upshot being that I have been forced to self-medicate with a plate of dense, chocolate-laden pie. Come to think of it, I still feel quite unwell. Perhaps another slice is in order?
We don’t have a microwave, so the margarine and chocolate were both melted the old-fashioned way. Margarine can be placed straight in a small saucepan and heated gently until liquid, but chocolate requires a little more care. Just make sure the simmering water in your pan doesn’t touch the glass bowl (and refrain from stirring too much) and it should be fine. I find dairy-free chocolate seems to melt more successfully than the traditional kind anyway, so it’s reasonably fool-proof.
Not overly sweet, thickened with coconut and cornflour and featuring a biscuit base which gives a good opportunity to take out your frustrations with a hefty rolling pin (or cheat and use a blender if you’re feeling a bit more zen), this tart is a definite hit. The beetroot gives a fruity earthy note under the rich chocolate, and the coconut is undetectable besides from the creaminess it brings.
I’d like to think you’d be hard-pressed to tell this tart is vegan, though I’m well aware that vegan food can be just as calorie-filled as anything else. That in mind, it’s probably best to keep portion sizes small – despite the presence of a vegetable, this is hardly a healthy dessert! Mr Chickpea is off this evening to deliver some to the in-laws so they don’t feel left out, but I’m definitely hoarding an extra piece.
For medicinal purposes, obviously. Anti-oxidants from the beetroot, and all that jazz.
- 400 g digestive biscuits broken down to crumbs
- 125 g vegan margarine melted
- 1 tbs caster sugar
- 250 g cooked beetroot
- 250 g coconut cream
- 200 g dark chocolate (dairy free)
- 100 g caster sugar
- 30 g cornflour
- 30 g cocoa powder
Melt the vegan margaine in a small pan on the hob. While this is heating, place the biscuits in a zipock bag and batter with a rolling pin until they become fine crumbs (alternatively, blitz in a food processor).
Combine the crumbs, sugar and melted margaine in a large bowl, then press firmly into a tart dish with the back of a tablespoon.
Place the dish on a baking tray and relegate to the fridge to firm up while you prepare the filling.
Place the cooked beetroot, coconut cream, sugar, cocoa and cornflour into a blender and pulse until smooth.
In a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water, melt the chocolate (making sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl).
Stir the melted chocolate into the beetroot mixture until well combined.
Remove the biscuit base from the fridge and spoon the filling over, carefully smoothing into the edges.
Bake for one hour in an oven preheated to 180C, until the top is staring to crack and the filling still has a slight wobble.
Cool in the dish and then refridgerate for four hours (or preferably overnight) until firm.