Tag Archive | Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Afternoon Tea and a Trip to the Sea

On Sunday I invited my family round for ‘Afternoon Tea’.

‘Afternoon Tea’

‘Afternoon Tea’ was originally intended for just the ‘ladies’ of the family.  However, all the men folk wanted to come too, so it became a whole family occasion.

This has now become a regular thing over the last few years, as everyone seems to enjoy it.  This time there were 18 people including my 1 year old great nephew, so I was grateful that the weather stayed fine, so we could all sit and eat outside.

My China Tea Set

I took out my best ‘china’ tea set for the occasion (which I bought second hand from ebay).

This time I decided to have an ‘allotment’ theme.

I started by serving Patty Pan Soup and homemade bread.

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My wonderful sister made sandwiches for everyone this year to help me, so we served these next.

Afterwards I served the cakes.

To keep with my allotment theme, I served the following:

Chocolate Beetroot Cake, with chocolate butter icing and a chocolate topping:

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Pumpkin and Orange Cake

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Rhubarb and Ginger Cake

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Blackberry Flapjacks

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Apple & Yellow Plum Muffins

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Chocolate Courgette Cakes

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This was all served with lots of Tea and Coffee and homemade Raspberry Cordial.

It did take quite a while to bake all the cakes, but everyone seemed to have a lovely time.

 The recipes for the Patty Pan Soup, Chocolate Beetroot Cake and the Chocolate Courgette cakes, are already in the ‘recipe section’ at the top of the page.

I will be writing the other cake recipes for you to enjoy, on my blog in the next few days.

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Yesterday, the four of us went for a lovely family day out to Skegness in Lincolnshire.

Skegness is a well known place for a day trip when you live in Leicester, as we do.  It’s one of the nearest beaches to us.

It took two hours to drive there.

Skegness has a reputation of being a bit ‘tacky’ with the amusements and ‘cheap’ shops, but for a day on the beach you can’t beat it.

We took a big picnic, chairs, buckets and spades, etc. and had a wonderful cheap day, making sandcastles, playing cricket, collecting shells, etc and chatting about life.

The weather was good and the sea was calm and I had fun with my husband and daughters.  What more could anyone want in life?

Thank you for reading my blog today.

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Wonderful Beetroot and Allotment Wildlife.

For the last year or so, I have been trying really hard to encourage wildlife into my allotment.  I have two small ponds and I was hoping it would encourage frogs to eat the slugs and snails.

Today I have proof that it is working:

A frog eyeing up it’s breakfast

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At the allotment today, I concentrated on cutting back my summer raspberries.  I removed the old fruiting stems and tied in the new stems

I also cut back my blackberries as they had grown so quickly and I was finding it hard to reach the fruit on them.

The raspberries and blackberries look a lot neater now.

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I pickled some of the beetroot that I picked yesterday.  It’s really easy to pickle beetroot and it tastes delicious:

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First twist the leaf stalks off the beetroot, leaving approximately one inch of the stalks.  By twisting it rather than cutting it, the beetroot will bleed less.

Wash the beetroot under a cold tap.

Put the beetroot in a large pan of boiling water, ensuring it is covered in water.  Top up the water if necessary during the cooking process.

The beetroot will take some time to cook.  Check if it’s cooked by inserting a knife into it.

When it is cooked, put on a pair of washing up gloves and take out a beetroot with a fork and then rub it with your gloves under a cold tap and as if by magic, all the skin will rub off easily.

Slice and put into sterilised jars

(To sterilise put jars in an oven, gas mark 4 for 5 minutes)

Top with cold ready spiced vinegar.

Put the tops on the jars and label.

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Interesting information about beetroot:

Beetroot, botanically known as Beta vulgaris, evolved from wild seabeet, which is a native of coastlines from India to Britain and is the ancestor of all cultivated forms of beet.

The medicinal properties of the root were more important in early times than just eating it.  It was used to treat a range of ailments including fevers, constipation, wounds and various skin problems.

The early roots were long and thin like a carrot.  The shape of root we are familiar with today was not developed until the sixteenth century and didn’t become widely popular in Central and Eastern Europe until 200 years later. Many classic beetroot dishes originated in this region including the famous beetroot soup, known as borscht.

In victorian times the its dramatic colour was used to brightened up salads and soups. It was also used as a sweet ingredient in cakes and puddings. The victorians even used the plants  as decorative bedding, because of their attractive green leaves. At this time, beetroot was still mainly grown as a winter root vegetable.

After World War II, pickled beetroot in jars was the most widely available form of the vegetable however, the vinegars were strong and harsh and put many people off it.

Nowadays, there are three main types of beetroot, Globe, Long–rooted (can be upto a foot long) and intermediate, sometimes called “tankard” because of the shape.

The variety I have grown is called ‘Boltardy’ which is good for  early sowing, due to its resistance to bolting .This is a tried and tested variety, with an excellent sweet flavour, smooth skin and deep red tender flesh.

As well as pickling beetroot, I use the young leaves of beetroots in salads as they add colour and I use cooked beetroot in cakes.

Here’s the link to the Chocolate beetroot cake I make:

  https://notjustgreenfingers.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/chocolate-beetroot-cake-and-more-of-the-old-fashioned-way/

I hope you have enjoyed reading my post today.