Brew News - the Yorkshire Tea blog

Fancy a slice of this with your brew?

Clandestine chocolate cake

Did you know that it’s currently National Baking Week and Chocolate Week?

So we’d be failing in our duty to you if we didn’t provide a gorgeous recipe for something chocolatey and cakey that goes perfectly with a brew.

And there’s a quirky twist too, thanks to the surprisingly delicious addition of beetroot.

It’s a creation by our talented friends at the Clandestine Cake Club. We hope it gets you in the baking mood!


Velvet Chocolate and Beetroot cake with Amaretto Ganache

Filled and covered with a smooth velvet Amaretto ganache, this also features beetroot, which adds moisture and texture to any cake. And the dark sugar adds balance with the smooth chocolate flavours.

Total time (prep & bake): 1 hours 35 minutes
Serving size: 10-12


For the chocolate decorations
150g dark chocolate

For the cake
200g butter softened
200g dark soft brown sugar
3 large eggs
150g dark chocolate around 50% cocoa solids
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
200g self raising flour
150g cooked beetroot – grated

For the filling
2 large tablespoons strawberry preserve

For the ganache
400g dark chocolate around 50% cocoa solids finely chopped or grated
170ml double cream
30ml amaretto liqueur


Make the chocolate decorations

1. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Heat until melted.

2. Place the chocolate in a piping bag with a very tiny nozzle.

3. Pipe squiggly clusters of lines on a strip of cellophane. Place in the fridge to set.

4. Make as many as you wish, any left over decorations can be kept in a sealed container for use on other cakes. Keep in a cool place away from heat

Make the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 170deg fan assisted. Grease and line 2 x 19cm/7.5ins loose bottomed sandwich tins

2. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Put aside to cool but not set.

2. Beat the butter and sugar together until well combined and lighter in colour

3. Add the eggs one at a time adding a little flour to help prevent curdling

4. Add the remaining flour and baking powder, mix until well combined

5. Add the beetroot and cooled chocolate and mix until well combined

6. Divide the mixture between the two baking tins

7. Bake in the oven for around 30-35 mins or until baked. Using a skewer to test the centre of the cakes until it comes out clean.

8. Leave to cool in the tins for 15 mins before turning out onto a wired wrack to cool completely

Make the ganache

1. Heat the cream almost to boiling

2. Pour the cream over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl

3. Allow to stand for a few moments to allow the heat to penetrate the chocolate

4. Gently stir until all the cream and chocolate are nice and smooth

5. Add the amaretto and mix until well combined

6. Leave to cool

Assemble the cake

1. Sandwich the two cakes together with the strawberry preserve and a thin layer of ganache

2. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining ganache leave a little behind for piping

3. Place the cake in the fridge to set a little

4. Remove the cake from the fridge and place the remaining ganache in a piping bag, use this to fix your chocolate squiggle decorations around the cake.

A spot of tea and cake

If you were listening to Radio 2 last week, you might have heard baking queen Mary Berry on Chris Evans’ show.

She popped onto his breakfast show on Friday (Sep 13) wielding a ginger cake. And the DJ, who’s a big fan of a proper brew, mentioned that all that was missing was a cup of Yorkshire Tea.

He’s quite right – ginger cake and tea go together very well indeed. And we’ve got a different spin on that same idea.

Our sister company, Bettys, runs a lovely cookery school – and their classic carrot cake is always in high demand.

It also lends itself to being spiced up with a little ginger, for some extra zing. If you like the sound of it and you’re in a baking mood, we’ve got the recipe for you.

Carrot and Ginger Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes a 20cm round cake


250g carrots
3 eggs (medium)
200ml sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g brown sugar
125g self raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground mixed spice
125g wholemeal flour
50g chopped walnuts
25g chopped stem ginger

For the lemon cream cheese frosting:
30g butter, softened
90g cream cheese
zest and juice of ½ lemon
200g icing sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (Non-fan assisted). Line the base of a 20cm round cake tin with baking parchment and grease the sides of the tin.

2. Peel and grate the carrots.

3. In a large mixing bowl, place the eggs, oil, vanilla extract and brown sugar. Beat to mix well. Stir in the grated carrots.

4. Add the self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, wholemeal flour and chopped walnuts and stem ginger. Stir well to mix.

5. Pour the mixture into prepared cake tin. Bake for approx 50 minutes to an hour, or until a skewer comes out clean and the top of the cake feels springy to the touch when lightly pressed.

6. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin, before turning out. When the cake is cold spread the top with lemon cream cheese frosting.

To make the lemon cream cheese frosting:
Place all the ingredients into a bowl and beat together until smooth.

The cake will freeze well. Wrap the cake in cling film without the lemon cream cheese frosting.

Let Us Eat Cake

Christmas. Weddings. Birthdays. These are the traditional stomping grounds of the cake – but are they enough?

You see, a delicious piece of cake and a lovely cup of Yorkshire Tea go together rather well, like sunshine and picnics, strawberries and cream or… er… tea and cake. Which means that, if it were up to us, there’d be a cake for every occasion.

We’d have Guy Fawkes cake, Halloween cake, New Year cake, May Day cake, third-week-of-the-month cake, Monday cake… the list goes on.

That’s why we’re really quite happy that this week is National Cake Week. Running from October 8-14, it’s the perfect excuse to sit down with a slice and a brew.

To mark the occasion, here are some of our favourite cakey facts:

It was an old English custom for unmarried wedding guests to sleep with a slice of wedding cake under their pillow. Legend has it they would dream of their future spouse.

The birthday cake can be traced back to Ancient Greece, when moon-shaped honey cakes would be taken to the temple of Artemis, Goddess of the Moon.

The taste of cake improved dramatically in 1886, when tea merchant Charles Taylor founded Taylors of Harrogate, giving Yorkshire folk access to a great cuppa to enjoy alongside it.

(Alright, we made that last one up. But only a bit.)

Are you celebrating National Cake Week? Let us know with a comment below.

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