Chocolate Beetroot Cake and more of the ‘Old Fashioned Way’ ….

Beetroot freshly picked


Beetroot has been around for centuries, it descended from wild sea beet.  People used to eat the leaves rather than the swollen root.  The root only became popular in the 18th century, when French chefs realised its potential.

Nowadays most people eat just the root, though I quite often put the young leaves in our salads as they taste nice and add a bit of colour.

Beetroot has loads of antioxidants and research shows it is good for regenerating immune cells and boosting the body’s natural defences in the liver. It also contains silica, which is vital for healthy skin, bones, tendons and ligaments and fingernails.  So it is good to eat.

The variety I grow is ‘Boltardy’, as it doesn’t run to seed so quickly when conditions aren’t so good, like this year.

Beetroot is one of those things that is usually just cooked and eaten, or pickled.

  I try and find different ways to use my garden produce so nothing gets wasted.  Therefore, below is a cake recipe that I make using cooked beetroot.  It tastes delicious and I didn’t even admit to my family that I used cooked beetroot in it, until a few weeks ago and they were astonished as you can’t taste it.


Chocolate Beetroot Cake


Beetroot and Chocolate Cake Recipe

250g cooked beetroot

3 eggs

200ml sunflower oil

175g Self raising flour

200g Caster sugar

1 teaspoon of baking powder

50g Cocoa powder

A sprinkling of icing sugar for the top


Preheat oven to Gas 4 / 180C / 350F

Grease the bottom and the sides of an 8 inch cake tin and sprinkle flour over it to stop it the cake from sticking to the tin

Sieve the flour, cocoa, baking powder and sugar into a bowl  

Drain the beetroot and blend in a food processor until nearly smooth, whilst adding the eggs one at a time, followed by the oil.

Add the beetroot mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Pour into the cake tin and cook for approx. 45 minutes.

Take out of the cake tin and cool then top with a sprinkling of icing sugar.


 I doubled the above recipe today, so I could sandwich the two cakes together with jam and put butter icing on the top to make it even more special.

Double layered Chocolate Beetroot Cake


Cleaning the old fashioned way continued…


Today I am focusing on white vinegar.

White vinegar is cheap to buy and most supermarkets sell it.  It can be used in a multitude of ways and is antibacterial too, so it kills most germs.  It does smell when you first spray it, but the smell doesn’t linger and no one will know you have used it.  White vinegar is milder than malt vinegar and dries odourless.

I put my white vinegar into a spray bottle so it is easier to use.

Important: Don’t use vinegar and bleach together and as vinegar is acidic  always be careful where you use it to clean.  Test it on a small patch first and never use it on marble.

Below are some ways to use white vinegar:


Clean your windows and mirrors with white vinegar.  I put the vinegar in to an old spray bottle as it’s easier to use this way.  Wipe it with old crumpled newspaper, it really does work and it stops the smears.  I find it best to wear rubber clothes so the print doesn’t go all over your hands though.

Use white vinegar as a rinse aid in your dishwasher.  It makes your glasses sparkle.

Use white vinegar instead of a conditioner in your washing machine.  It helps stop the build-up of lime scale and makes your clothes soft and once dry there are no smells of vinegar.

Unclog your washing machine with 1 cup of vinegar on a normal cycle (with no clothes), once a month. This is also good for cleaning your dishwasher too.

Use white vinegar to clean your kitchen and work surfaces.  It is a good degreaser.  Add a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil as this has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties too.

 If you have any spills on your cooker, spray with vinegar and leave for a few minutes and you will be amazed how easily it wipes off.

Spray your stainless steel sink with vinegar and leave for a few minutes and then wipe it down with a damp cloth and it will sparkle like new.

To disinfect your kitchen floor tiles, add 1 cup of vinegar to your bucket of hot water and mop.

To remove lime scale from taps, wrap the taps in an old dishcloth and soak the cloth in vinegar.  Leave for a while and then just rinse with water.

Descale you kettle with white vinegar by mixing 1 cup of water mixed with 1 cup of vinegar and leave in the kettle for one hour.  Rinse the kettle a few times afterwards.

Clean your bathroom with white vinegar with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil in.  A quick wipe around your sink each day will keep it shiny.   You can also use it daily to clean around your toilet seat.

Vinegar will easily breakdown soap scum in your soap dishes too.

Wrap an old cloth around a shower head and soak the cloth in white vinegar and leave for an hour or two (longer if it’s really bad).  This will remove the lime scale.  Wipe clean with a damp cloth afterwards.

Use diluted vinegar, one part water and one part vinegar, to clean tiles ( if you don’t dilute the vinegar it will eat away the grout).

To remove lime scale in your toilet, pour the vinegar in the toilet at night and easily brush the lime scale away in the morning.

Another way to clean your toilet is to put a sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda in, followed by a splash of vinegar before brushing.

To remove price stickers and labels from jars, spray or wipe the sticker with vinegar until it is soaked and after a few moments it can be wiped away easily.



I will continue tomorrow with some more ‘old fashioned cleaning tips.

I hope you have enjoyed reading todays post.

18 thoughts on “Chocolate Beetroot Cake and more of the ‘Old Fashioned Way’ ….

  1. This is really handy. I wanted to look at your Chocolate Beetroot Cake recipe but have found the tips using vinegar very handy also. I am running down and not re-stocking my existing cleaning chemicals and am trying to look to more natural ways; this has come at a great time. Thanks.

    • Thanks. I’m posting a picture today (01-08-12) of my disgusting showerhead before I cleaned it with vinegar and how it looked afterwards. It’s truely remarkable. I’m also talking about Bicarbonate of soda today (01-08-12). I hope it helps you.

      Hope your cleaning goes well.

  2. That cake looks so delicious. What a great idea to make it with beetroot, which is sweet.
    Thank you very much for the eco friendly cleaning tips. I use Ecover at the moment, but that is a bit expensive, so this is a great tip, thank you !!

  3. That Chocolate Beetroot cake looks delicious. When I make it I’ll have to visit the greengrocers first as the two beets I picked at the allotment yesterday were the most puny specimens you could imagine.
    Thank you for the cleaning tips “the old fashioned way”, the tips are really good.

  4. Thanks, It is nice to eat. I’ve awaiting for my 2nd sowing of beetroot now as it’s not ready yet.
    Glad you enjoyed the ‘old fashioned way’. I’ll be making my last post on the subject tomorrow (02-08-12).
    Thanks for reading my post

  5. Made the chocolate and beetroot cake for the whole family and every one really loved it . Did not tell them that there was beetroot in it till it was all gone. Well worth making, the boys loved it, best chocolate cake ever, thanks lisa and keep up the good work.

  6. hi finally getting around to learning all the alternative cleaning ways, have stopped buying all sprays etc. just cleaned my bathroom floortiles with vinegar and a few drops of lavender oil (tea tree oil is on the shopping list :-)) and it looks so clean and smells lovely. we have a lot of old wooden floors throughout the house do you think it would be ok to use vinegar on these – theyre maple wood not polished or anything. if not could you suggest anything. love your blog so much. I also received an ebook from a friend called ‘looking back over my shoulder’ a wonderful account of past times with thrifty recipes and household hints. I was wondering if you had come across it? Its just your thing 🙂 if you don’t have it let me know and I can forward a copy to you. have a lovely week xx

    • That book sound brill margyc and yes it’s right up my street.

      I have an old wooden floor in my hall that could really do with being re-varnished again as it looks like bare wood too. I use hot water with vinegar in to clean it but I really wring my mop out so it is only just damp. I don’t know if it would work on yours or not but I would hate you to ruin your floor….maybe try on a small patch somewhere out of site? I have read that you can use soap nut liquid on floors and I tried it out on my laminate floor in the kitchen and they came up lovely….again I don’t know about your floor though.

      I’ve just found this site that says that you can clean with hot water as long as you really wring our mop out….I think I would try that first if I was you:

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