Chocolate beetroot cake and fast food for young birds


We appear to have earned ourselves a bit of a reputation as the go-to hangout for young birds. Word of mouth, or tweet of beak as the case may be, is a very powerful thing. We had another winged visitor this morning, who we discovered perched next to the little turtle dove in the kitchen. They looked as if they were sitting in a restaurant waiting for lunch to be served. Had there been miniature knives and forks to hand, I think they’d have been banging them on the table impatiently. Not wanting to disappoint, I whipped up some quinoa; I’ve been slightly concerned that little TD might not be getting a broad enough range of nutrients on her rather obsessive mono-diet of couscous. Having been quite categorical about not cooking separate dishes for month-old birds, my stance has evidently flown out of the window. I’m absolutely intransigent when it comes to baby animals! I’m now racking my brains as to what I can prepare for them for dinner as, having checked on the Turtle Dove Forum, apparently chocolate cake is a no-no.


Beetroot’s nutritional benefits come from its potent combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids (notably glutamine), fibre and unique anti-oxidants. Beets are high in vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, fibre and essential minerals such as potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Studies have shown the beneficial effect of beetroot juice on blood pressure and suggest that nitrate-rich foods such as beetroot may help in heart attack survival. The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson colour may even protect from cancer.


100g spelt flour

75g rye flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

75g unsweetened cocoa powder

80g cane sugar

100g dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa solids), melted

3 eggs, beaten

250g beetroot, cooked and grated

200ml olive oil

100ml plain yoghurt

Grease a medium-sized cake tin and set aside. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Sift the flours, raising agents and cocoa powder together in a bowl and set aside. Add the sugar, melted chocolate, beaten eggs, grated beetroot, olive oil and yoghurt to a bowl and mix well. Incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients little by little, mixing well. Bake for 40 minutes or until a fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. Delicious served with vanilla ice cream or Greek yoghurt.

13 responses to “Chocolate beetroot cake and fast food for young birds

  1. Chocolate cake with the health benefits of beets? Sign me up!

  2. I love chocolate cake with beet but have never had GF, the cake looks incredibly moist and delicious. The TD now has arranged to have a dinner party at your expense. LOL, flock of birds with forks and knives has me howling, Are they supposed to eat bird seed or something:? They are wild birds so wild bird see maybe mixed with the cous cous.

  3. I like the image of the little birdies banging tiny knives and forks for their couscous! Lovely cake. I do a beetroot-choccie number too, but it is always nice to see different approaches to this surprisingly delicious cake. PS I am the Dr Dolittle of half-dead bees. I revive them and most get on their way, none the worse for their near-death experience.

    • Thank you! And as you say, it is surprisingly delicious. If you’re the Dr Dolittle of half-dead bees it’s too bad you weren’t around this Spring when my husband managed to kill off a whole hive (he’d built them a new ‘house’ and apparently they didn’t like it! How on earth do you manage to bring them back to life without getting stung?

      • Oh, they are really half-dead so it is honey or jam on knife end, kneeling beside them as they just sit there. They sense the sweet and just stick their proboscis (or whatever it is) in and suck away. Then they toddle off and test their wings! It’s the most bizarre thing. I’ve probably done that over half a dozen times in the past couple of years.

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