Beetroot and vanilla sorbet is a vegan dessert recipe from Kate Hackworthy’s new debut cookbook Veggie Desserts + Cakes
Veggie Desserts + Cakes is a cookbook all about making vegetables the star of cakes and desserts, not about hiding them. I love vegetables too, so naturally also love this sentiment. Yes, desserts should be decadent and be a treat, but vegetables can absolutely be part of this and the author Kate wants us to celebrate them loud and proud as tasty ingredients.
The book is written by my blogging friend Kate Hackworth of Veggie Desserts blog and is published by Pavilion Books today. It contains 60 sweet recipes all featuring some vegetable or other and is separated into various chapters from cakes to cookies, pies and pastries to frozen desserts. Each one a vibrant colour and celebrating a less-than-expected vegetable hero.
We all know about carrot cake, and even putting beetroot in chocolate cake is quite the norm these days, but Kate goes one step further and has adventures with recipes like kale and apple cake, romanesco, lemon and cardamom cookies, or pea and vanilla cake. I am SO intrigued as to what these taste like, and hope to try my hand at making them soon.
There are simple recipes in the book (like the beetroot and vanilla sorbet I made) as well as far more complex ones (like vegetable-dyed rainbow cake with coconut funfetti). Most recipes contain added sugar of some description (they are desserts after all) thought Kate says she uses less than what you’d expect due to the natural sweetness of the vegetables. I am sure you could trial using even less or a different type if you wanted, but do remember sugar does serve a structural and textural function in cooking.
I decided to test out the beetroot and vanilla sorbet recipe, since beetroot is a favourite ingredient of mine; I love the colour and I love its earthy flavour. It’s also currently in season in the UK, though to be honest its in season most of the year here, bar late spring actually. Frozen desserts and especially ice-cream or sorbet also happen to be my most favourite thing.
The beetroot and vanilla sorbet was fairly quick and simple to make, combining a simple sugar syrup with blended cooked beetroots and a touch of vanilla and lemon for flavouring. I recommend a Froothie Blender* for blending up the beetroot mix. I have one and I couldn’t live without it, providing professional blending results in a home kitchen. The model I have is no longer available so I’ve been advised by Froothie to recommend the 9200 2nd generation which best priced model now. If you buy via this link, you will be rewarded with an extra 2 years warranty, and you will be able to use a 0% interest free deal to spread the cost.
I sampled the sorbet base before it churned in my ice cream maker and it tasted like a very sweet beetroot juice. Almost too sweet for my palate, but as I know that as ingredients freeze the sugar taste is dampened I worried not.
After a patient 30 minutes churning away in my ice-cream make we were onto a winner. A beautiful pink sorbet had magically formed. It had a strong beetroot tang, and a creamy texture too. Sadly it melted pretty quickly during my shoot (oh I had forgotten how much I detest shooting things that melt – no time for mistakes), so I think if I had wanted it to stay firmer for longer (which is really when it was at its creamy best), then I should have frozen the churned sorbet solid, and then lightly defrosted in the fridge for 15 minutes before shooting / eating as Kate advises in the recipe.
The recipe suggests roasted, boiled/steamed or vac pack beetroot. I took the lazy option and went with vac pack. Though now I’d love to know whether roasting the beets imparts a different flavour or deepens the colour. If you give it a go let me (and Kate!) know.
The only thing extra I feel I could have added would have been some textural crunch on top; perhaps some chopped pistachio nuts or some shavings of beetroot’s mate dark chocolate.
If you like the sound of this you might enjoy some of the other recipes from the book, some of my blogging friends have also shared;
- Bintu shared Chocolate Cauliflower Ice Lollies
- Jane shared Cavolo Nero and Orange Cupcakes
- Janice and Ren both shared Carrot Gingerbread here & here (love seeing the different versions)
- Kate (another Kate) shared Avocado Lime Tarts
- Lisa shared Pumpkin Cupcakes with Avocado Icing
- Choclette and Kellie shared Kale and Apple Cake here and here
- Helen and Lucy shared Courgette and Poppyseed loaf here and here
- Claire shared strawberry and spinach swiss roll
- Elizabeth made Pea and Vanilla Cake
- Kavey made Pea and Mint Cupcakes
- and finally Camilla made Black Bean Chocolate Brownies
Enjoy those veggie desserts!
- 300g cooked beetroot (roasted, steamed or boiled)
- 150g caster sugar
- 100g water
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- If using an ice-cream maker, freeze the bowl ahead of time, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Puree the beetroot with a hand blender until smooth, then set aside
- In a small saucepan over a medium-low heat, combine the sugar and water, stirring occasionally until completely dissolved. This could take about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
- In a food processor, blend the cooled sugar syrup with the pureed beetroot, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth.
- If using an ice-cream maker, pour the cooled mixture into the pre-frozen bowl of the ice-cream maker and churn until thick, according to the manufacturer's instructions, then either serve immediately or pour into a freezer-safe dish to store in the freezer
- If not using an ice-cream maker, pour the cooled mixture into a large freezer-safe dish and freeze, mixing it well with a fork every half hour over the next 4 hours. Transfer to the fridge for 15 minutes to soften before serving.
You can buy the book from Amazon, and other leading retailers.
Have you ever added a vegetable to a dessert??
*Many thanks to Kate and Pavilion Books for the review copy of the book and kind reproduction of the recipe. All thoughts are my own.
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