You can’t beet my pink cake, says Green Directions boss Mark

Mark Woodward shares his Beetroot and Raisin tea loaf recipe with readers
Mark Woodward shares his Beetroot and Raisin tea loaf recipe with readers
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Mark Woodward credits his parents with the passion for food that led to his livelihood.

“My interest in cooking started when mum taught me how to make cakes,” says dad of three Mark, 55. “My dad’s influence came from the allotment. As soon as I had a garden, when a student at Sheffield University, I started my own plot and have grown my own ever since,” says Mark, who turned his home, Stannington’s Townfield Head Farm, into Green Directions, a venue for conferences, weddings and a pop-up restaurant, “This cake recipe uses beetroot from my garden and is adapted from a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I worked with his River Cottage team teaching good nutrition to Sheffield Diving Club recently.”

Beetroot and Raisin Tea Loaf

Makes: 10 slices Cost: approx £2


4 eggs, separated

200g grated beetroot

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Grated zest of 1 orange

100g ground almonds

100g raisins

200g self-raising flour

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 170 deg C/Gas Mark 3. Lightly grease a 20x10cm loaf tin and line with greaseproof.

Whisk sugar and egg yolks together until pale and creamy, then stir in the beetroot, lemon zest and juice, orange zest, raisins and ground almonds. Sift the flour, salt and spices into the mixture and then fold them gently into the mixture using a metal spoon.

In a very clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Stir some of the beaten egg white into the cake mixture to loosen it up, then fold in the rest very gently.

Tip the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and make sure the surface is level. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and make sure it’s cooled completely before slicing.