Blood Orange, Beetroot & Chocolate Loaf

GUYS I had the day off uni and I wasn’t even expecting it! GUYS, I entered Lurpak’s #bakeclub competition. The prize is Joseph Joseph kitchen stuff. GUYS, I LOVE Joseph Joseph stuff. You may have guessed that I spent my day off baking. It was a glorious day. The rain poured outside, I poured chocolate inside. My housemate, Rhona, had the day off too so she played the roll of photography assistant. Rhona and I became friends at uni as we were doing the same course. We bonded over food. Obviously. We spent most of our second year going out for breakfasts around London. It was the best. In fact, I am waiting for Rhona to get home from the gym now, hoping she will cave and decide to go to Pizza Express with me for dinner. I have a voucher and everything.

Back to the bake. “The Challenge” this month for #bakeclub was “Vegetables in cakes and bakes”. I have always wanted to try beetroot in chocolate cake ’cause I have heard it is pretty darn good. Now I have the perfect excuse. I also really wanted to bake something using blood oranges, so I used a recipe that required normal oranges and replaced them with the bloody kind. I was so desperate to use blood oranges I sent a facebook message to the this fruit and veg shop near my house to check they had them. Thank goodness they did. Is that weird? Have I reached new lows for baking geekiness? Whatever. I don’t care.

The beetroots came from my Mum and Dad’s veg box, so they were lovely organic beety goodness. My Mother kindly boiled them ready for me to use. My mum seems to get a mention in most of my posts, lets just say she is my sous chef, not forgetting my dad the cleaner or RB.cleans. Speaking of cleaning, I had to do it all myself today. Boy was it a chore. Haha. Jeez what am I like.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. This loaf tastes like Terry’s Chocolate Orange (other chocolate oranges are available) but in cake/loaf form. It has added….moistness…from the beetroot, which by the way you can’t even taste! It’s just really really good, ask Rhona! I decided to add the candied/ caramelised oranges on top because I think blood oranges are beautiful and I didn’t want them to be hidden inside. I am gonna be straight with you. I burnt the first lot of oranges. You have to be really careful with caramel, it is very easy to get wrong! Second time round, the oranges survived but again, I forgot how hot bubbling sugar is, and I melted my spatula! Whoops.
Enough chat. Let’s bake.


Over here you can find the original recipe, which I took and ran with. When greasing the loaf tin, remember my trick from before to help you easily remove the loaf from the tin. Also, go ahead and use normal oranges if you can’t get your hands on blood oranges. They are in season around end of Jan/Feb-March.
Serves: 8-10 (depending on how generous you are with your slices!)
Prep Time: 20-30mins
Cooking Time: 1hr + 25-30mins for candied oranges
Skill Level: Bit of elbow grease and you will be on your way 

2lb/ 900g Loaf Tin (greased)
2 x mixing bowls
Food processor
Zester/ grater
Baking parchment

180g beetroot (cooked)
1 small-med blood orange (zest & juice)
pinch of salt 
medium eggs
225g sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
225g flour
100g cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
200ml sunflower oil

100g dark chocolate 
Candied Oranges (optional) 
120ml water
100g sugar 
5-6 slices of Blood Orange (roughly 2-3mm thick)


  1. Preheat oven to 200c/180c fan/Gas 6.
  2. Using a food processor, blend the beetroot until it resembles a thick paste (not too much, you don’t want a sloppy loaf mix)
  3. To the beetroot, add eggs, orange zest & juice, salt, sugar and vanilla. Stir it on up.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa and baking soda.
  5. Sieve dry mix into wet mix.
  6. Stir to combine.
  7. Slowly, a little at a time, add the sunflower oil. Make sure to mix between each addition.
  8. Mix well. (It will be quite wet, don’t worry).
  9. Pour mix into prepared loaf tin and place in oven.
  10. Bake for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the loaf.
  11. Leave loaf to cool.
  12. Melt chocolate and pour over cooled loaf. (I prefer to melt chocolate using the bain marie method. Place bowl over pan of boiling water making sure water does not touch the bowl. Add pieces of chocolate to bowl and stir)
Candied Oranges
  1. Over a low heat bring to boil sugar and water until sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Place the slices of blood orange into the pan, making sure they are not touching each other.
  3. Leave to simmer for 15mins.
  4. Turn the slices of orange over and simmer for a further 10-15mins. IMPORTANT: Keep checking to see if the sugar is burning. If it starts to brown remove from heat IMMEDIATELY.
  5. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the saucepan.
  6. Remove oranges from saucepan and place on baking parchment.
  7. Allow to cool before placing on plate.
I love jazzy big brass bands. I have a very exciting post coming up about a jazzy brass band I saw at Ronnie Scott’s. In the meantime, lend me your ears, and enjoy a bit of Youngblood Brass Band.

KB x

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