Those long sweet summer days have arrived; we enjoyed one of those on 24 June when we celebrated the summer solstice on the Community Allotment. It was too hot for most people to do any gardening, so chilling out, chatting, drinking Sarah’s cool, homemade, elderflower pressé and the fabulous food prepared by the evergreen Caroline.
Caroline was excellent as ever, working hard and chatting sociably with everyone as she cooked delicious food. It was difficult to find seasonal food on site for cooking in June but Caroline rustled up a feast seemingly out of nothing.
Gorgeous vegetable pakoras and frittatas, garlic bread, salad with nasturtiums and home baked treats were the reward for the hard working gardeners (Jenni and Steve mainly!)on a beautiful summer’s afternoon.
Freshly picked allotment raspberries
Review by Jenni and Alan
I worked with award winning photographer Lisa Barber to make and photograph the cake. We tried the gluten free option and it was so delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
3 medium beetroot, cooked, skinned and coarsly grated
250g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla
250ml vegetable oil
50g cocoa powder
For gluten free option:
Substitute gluten free flour mix. Add 1tsp baking powder, 1tsp bicarbonate soda, 1/2 cup pureed apple, 1tsp cider vinegar.
Preheat oven to 180C; grease 13×9 inch pan.
Sift flour, baking soda & salt together in a bowl.
Beat sugar, eggs, vanilla & oil until smooth. Add beetroot & cocoa power and beat until combined well.
Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Pour batter into pan, smooth top. Bake in middle of oven for around 35 mins (it may take longer, depending on oven type).
Lisa Barber, is an award-winning food and portrait photographer. She has photographed some of the world’s most famous chefs, and shot the images for Brighton-based Terre a Terre’s cookbook, and David Everitt-Mathias’ cookbooks Divine Chocolate, Essence, Dessert & Beyond Essence. She has an organic allotment in South London. For more information visit her website.
Recipe was supplied by Jenni.