Rich cacao, beetroot & walnut mini cakes


I've got a really awful cold at the moment so I made... cake. While not many health practitioners would recommend this as a cold remedy, I consider it a balm for the soul. These mini cakes are beautifully rich and earthy. The beetroot works perfectly with the chocolate, the almond meal gives a fudgy texture and the walnuts just make them feel slightly more grown up. 

I've used only dates for sweetness so this recipe is free of refined sugar as well as gluten free. If you don't have cacao powder you can easily substitute a good quality cocoa. This recipe is based on a favorite past recipe tweak of mine. A River Cottage pumpkin tea loaf that became a honey sweetened lemon cake that has now journeyed into the wonderful world of cacao mini cakes. Once you figure out a perfect baking equation: five eggs, two cups of almond meal etc. You're off and running making lots of amazing treats.

It's funny isn't it that it's when you're really really busy something like a cold will come along to force you to slow down. I felt awful yesterday afternoon and rather than rush around like I normally would I sat on the floor with toddler Bonnie and podded broad beans. It was about as strenuous a task as I could manage and it kept Bonnie busy. I was exhausted but what a lovely way to spend some time with my daughter. She reveled in the responsibility and chattered away. It was adorable and sweet and I ended up loving those peaceful moments with her. Downgrading my activities to the most monotonous of tasks ended up being the best thing ever and it's not something I'll always remember to do unprompted. I'm not celebrating my head cold, but it's had it's silver linings.

I have been doing all the usual good things to hep me feel better but a strong cup of tea and a little cake is my favorite cure all so far.


1 generous cup dates - soaked in hot water for 10 mins if not using medjool or similar 

1 cup finely grated beetroot - quite firmly packed. Lightly squeezed of some liquid.

2 cups ground almonds / almond meal

5 free range eggs

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 Tbsp cacao powder

1/2 cup walnuts - roughly chopped.

Preheat oven to 165 degrees celsius.

Place your dates into food processor and blitz until you have a rough puree.

Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder & nutmeg. Combine.

Add remaining ingredients and process to combine.

Spoon batter into 10 greases holes of a muffin tin.

Bake for 20-25 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Bake for 45-50 minutes if using a cake tin

Store in the fridge for up to four days.

Enjoy x