Beetroot Chocolate Cake With Raspberry Crème Fraîche Recipe – Carina Contini

Cake Ingredients

  • 225g 70% cocoa Valrhona dark chocolate
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 225g cooked beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 225g self-raising flour, sieved

Raspberry Cream Ingredients

  • 125g raspberries
  • 250g crème fraîche
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

For the chocolate cream

  • 200g 70% cocoa Valrhona dark chocolate
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 100g double cream

To Decorate

  • 200g mixed berries (such as raspberries, blackberries and small strawberries)
  • Zest of 1 orange

Carina Contini is Owner of Contini George Street, Edinburgh; Cannonball Restaurant & Bar, Castlehill, Edinburgh; and The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant – located at the gardens entrance of the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.

Credit: Carina Contini

Carina Contini

Inspired by Queen Victoria, here’s a beetroot recipe for the romantics you are sure to love!


The girls and I have become addicted to the ITV series, Victoria. Primary 7 school project ‘The Victorians’ couldn’t have been better timed. I love the historical content and she is portrayed so graciously and so humble despite her opulent lifestyle. Victoria and Albert are such a beautiful couple – yes they look great on TV, but the legacy they have left us has lasted more than a lifetime. And I’ve never seen a married couple that kiss as much as they do. In the month of February, with Valentine’s Day looming, their love story is remarkable. The boys are nowhere to be seen at 9pm on a Sunday evening. I must remember to have words with Victor.

Nine children for any woman, even the queen, is some feat. This plus the fact the head chef to the household was Italian adds to my admiration! Victoria had great taste. The V&A in London is one of my favourite places on earth. What a legacy to leave us. With our very own V&A Museum of Design Dundee having recently opened it is a beautiful reminder of their lasting love for each other being shared in a fabulous new cultural centre for us Scots to enjoy.


Victoria and Scotland


We know Queen Victoria loved Scotland, she also loved many Scottish classics such as Finnan haddock, tablet, and of course, whisky and most days were started with porridge. Sounds like a lady after our own heart. No doubt the current queen has taken many of her own favourites from her great grandmother.

One of the early episodes of the show had the Queen craving beetroot. The below stairs kitchen throngs were in shock – her majesty had lost it, she clearly wasn’t well, she wanted to eat a root vegetable reserved in its day for cattle and the poorest if they were desperate. It transpires she was pregnant! I must confess I craved pickled beetroot myself when I was pregnant and to this day Victor panics mildly if he sees a jar in my shopping trolley, but with love in the air here’s a beetroot recipe for the romantics even chef Francatelli would approve.

This chocolate cake has a fabulous moist texture, similar to a Sacher Torte but without any ground almonds. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a slightly more unusual cake. My children love sweets but they don’t really like sweet cakes. The beetroot in this recipe helps remove the sweetness, so the children really go for it. It’s a great teatime-on-a-Sunday-afternoon kind of cake!




  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4 and line a 26cm cake tin with baking parchment.


  • Break up the chocolate and melt it in a heatproof glass or ceramic bowl over a bain-marie. Do not let the simmering water touch the bottom of the bowl.


  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a sharp knife. Slowly beat the melted chocolate, vanilla seeds and then the grated beetroot into the butter and sugar mixture. Finally fold in the eggs and flour. Transfer to the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven until firm to the touch.


  • Remove from the oven, cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.


  • For the raspberry cream, squash the raspberries in a bowl, then fold in the crème fraîche and lemon juice. Set aside.


  • For the chocolate cream, break up the chocolate and melt it with the butter in a heatproof glass or ceramic bowl over a bain-marie. As soon as the water in the pan comes to the boil, remove the pan and bowl from the heat. Leave the chocolate to melt.


  • Try not to touch it until it has all melted, then gently fold in the cream until the mixture is glossy.


  • When the cake is cool, use a spatula to spread the chocolate cream on top and over the sides


  • Decorate with the mixed berries and a sprinkle of orange zest. Serve with the raspberry cream on the side.


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See more of Carina’s recipes for us here and discover a new one each month in
The Scots Magazine