Looking for something to serve up on NYE? Try this delicious chocolate countdown cake

Catherine Fulvio is on hand to show us how to make the perfect cake

chocolate cake

Whether you’re having some pals around for a party, or enjoying NYE with loved ones, there’s always the struggle of what nibbles to serve up – but look no further, as we’ve found the perfect dessert, to keep everyone happy.

We caught up with tv chef, Catherine Fulvio to learn how to make a very fitting, chocolate rum beetroot tart, with a countdown clock face.

Catherine told VIP Magazine, “I always say that cooking should be relaxing and fun and that’s what I try to ensure at my cookery school in Wicklow – so you can imagine the joy, when I show our guests how to make a cake that tells the time. It puts a smile on everyone’s face! And it is so easy to do and perfect for New Year’s eve!”

catherine fulvio


For the pastry:

  • 220g plain flour
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 100g cold butter, diced
  • 3 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. cold water

For the filling:

  • 60g butter
  • 200g chocolate drops
  • 3 tbsp. rum
  • 80g cooked beetroot, pureed
    200ml double cream
    2 eggs, beaten

For the clock face:

  • White fondant “ready to roll” icing
  • Gold edible shimmer powder
  • Black colour paste
  • Small paint brush

How to make it!


Preheat the oven to 190°C/ Fan 170°C/Gas 5. Brush a 23cm deep loose-base tart tin with melted butter.

To make the pastry:

  • Sieve the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Add the diced butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sieve in the icing sugar in.
  • Beat the egg with the water and add to the flour and butter and mix until the pastry forms a medium to firm dough.
  • Wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes before rolling out.
  • Flour a work surface with some cocoa powder and roll out the pastry slightly larger than the tin.
  • Line the tin with the pastry and lightly prick the base with a fork. Place in the fridge to rest for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the fridge, line with parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Place in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until just baked. Set aside.

To make the filling:

  • Add the butter, chocolate and rum to a bain marie and melt. Set aside to cool.
  • Add the beetroot to the chocolate butter mixture and fold in the cream and beaten eggs.
  • Carefully pour the mix into the pastry case and baking for about 20 to 25 minutes or until just set. Leave to cool completely and only add the clock face when you are about to serve.

To make the clock numbers:

  • Roll out the white fondant, cut circles using a round cutter and cut out 2 “clock arms” with a sharp knife – one shorter than the other.
  • Rub the fondant circles and “arms” with gold shimmer and leave to dry.
  • Paint the numbers on the circles and leave to dry. This is best done overnight.
  • When ready to serve, lift the tart out of the tin and place on a board or cake stand.
  • Add a little shimmer around the edges of the pastry on the tart. Place the numbers on the tart.
  • Position the “clock arms” on the face – five to twelve.

Tip: Using this for any occasion instead of the “clock face” for New Year simply add little gold fondant stars over the tart, looks so elegant.

Ballyknocken House & Cookery School will reopen mid-January and Catherine will kick start another busy year in the cookery school with a host of new courses including The Great Sunday Roast, Fermented Foods, Something Fishy as well as continuing with the ever popular Super Food for Super People, Fab Mains & Desserts, Southern Italian and 30 Minute Mains.


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