Beetroot and Feta Cheese Tarte Tatin and a trip to the Sugarplum Cakeshop

Serves: 4
Cost: ~€2.20
Preparation time: ~70 minutes
Calories: ~660 per serving

This post today is inspired by the wonderful Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall whose fantastic series “Veg every day” I recently finished watching. If you live in England then you’ve almost certainly seen him on TV, but for those that haven’t, I really recommend checking out his shows and books. He has a passion for food and a love for his profession which I’m sure could inspire even the most indolent home cook. When I saw a beetroot tarte tatin he made on his show I just knew I had to give it a try, although I tweaked it a bit as I found pure beetroot a little plain.

Before I get to that though I went back to that American cake shop in Paris this weekend and I remembered to take a camera for once so I can actually share a few photos with you now. It took me a long time to find a parking space because Paris has an annoying habit of closing off huge swathes of roads on Sundays for use by cyclists, pedestrians and rollerblade users only. Eventually though I squeezed my small car into a cheeky little parking space along Rue Monge and then set off up the little cobbled back streets to the café


I know that what I’m about to say might sound like heresy but I’m not a massive fan of the French café culture. As a Brit, a satisfying café visit should consist of the following: a large cup of filter coffee or tea, and not this camomile and raspberry infusion junk but proper tea – Ceylon, Assam, Darjeeling, yeah baby! I should have the possibility to get some toast, or a slice of cake – proper cake… great fluffy, sponge layers, sandwiched together with lashings of frosting which should normally make you feel terribly unhealthy but never quite does because it’s always so delicious and just slides on down oh so easily. I’m sorry to say that this isn’t my experience with French cafés. Don’t get me wrong – I love espresso but it’s the kind of thing I want three of after dinner. A tiny dainty little cup and a lavish, intricately decorated, insanely rich cake just isn’t really my thing.

Rue Mouffetard

This is why I was so pleased, the first time I found the Sugarplum Cakeshop – there’s not an Opéra cake or éclair to be found there, and they must be on to something because far from eschewing the place, Parisians seem to love it too. I read that at least 60% of its visitors are Parisians, with the remaining 40% made up of tourists and ex-pats. The coffee shop is just around the corner from rue Mouffetard, one of Paris’ oldest and liveliest districts with many restaurants and interesting little stores. But I’m not here to see restaurants and fountains. I came here for one reason and that was to have cake. I’d actually had a few unhealthy days, food-wise, before this visit and I’d been intending on having only a coffee, but as I said afterwards in a text message to my wife: “Oops, some cake accidentally fell into my open mouth”. Oh dear :D.

Sugarplums Cake Shop

It’s a shame the Sugarplum Cake Shop isn’t a bit bigger. They’d do an absolutely roaring trade. As it is the place is a little on the small side, but cosy nonetheless. Unfortunately it’s one of those places which is very popular with the “buy one cup of coffee and sit there for 4 hours” crowd which certainly doesn’t help the seating issues but despite that it’s still very much worth a visit. The staff are sunny and friendly and the array of teas, coffees and cold drinks on offer is vast. That’s not mentioning the cakes though. We went for an outrageously rich, squidgy chocolate cookie and a caramel pecan slice, and then ended up going back for a hefty slice of peanut butter cake – deliciously rich, moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with great thick layers of peanut butter flavoured frosting! (Please excuse the half-eaten appearance of the cake in the second photo there :) ).


The Sugarplum Cake Shop is open Tuesday to Sunday, 12pm to 7pm, 68 rue du Cardinal Lemoine 75005, Paris, but if you’re planning on coming to Paris for a summer holiday and want to check it out then plan accordingly because in true Parisian fashion they’re going to be closed for the entire month of August!

Beetroot and feta cheese tarte tatin

On to today’s recipe – I’ve got an announcement! This is the first video in the new format today. No more boring narrated photos, now we have a bit of “action”. Now, this is just a beginning. I hope to make them better, so don’t laugh :). Feedback about the video, the sound levels, critiques and the like are more than welcome to help me improve. I hope you enjoy the recipe – I know that not everyone is a big fan of beetroot but I really think that this one might just change your mind! Have a fantastic day and see you back again on the weekend!

 Beetroot and Feta Cheese Tarte Tatin

[learn_more caption=”Video Recipe”]


Beetroot and Feta Cheese Tarte Tatin ingredients

  • ~3 Raw Beetroot
  • 25g Butter
  • ~1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ~1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • ~2 tbsps Sugar
  • 1 Pack of Puff Pastry (~350g)
  • ~100g Feta Cheese
  • Chopped spring onions to garnish


  1. Start off by preheating your oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Peel the beetroot and chop into bite-sized chunks. Heat the butter and olive oil through in a pan. You’ll need to use a pan which is suitable for use in the oven so a copper or steel pan is ideal. Once the oil and butter is sizzling, add in the beetroot, enough to cover the bottom of the pan but not come up the sides, and mix well to coat in the hot fat.
    Chopping the beetroot
  2. Pour in the vinegar and the sugar. Stir well and simmer slightly to reduce down into a rich syrup. Cover the pan with foil and then place into the preheated oven for about 30 or 40 minutes, until the beetroot is tender.
    Reducing the vinegar
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and let stand for a few minutes and then drape the puff pastry over the top, tucking any excess into the sides. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is a rich golden brown.
    Laying on the pastry
  4. Crumble the feta cheese and chop your spring onions finely.
    Crumbling the feta and onions
  5. Once ready, remove the pan with the tarte tatin from the oven. Allow to rest for a few minutes before running a spatula or knife around the edge, just to ensure no pastry is stuck to the side of the pan. Place a plate or board on top and flip the pan in one motion. Remove the pan, decorate with the feta cheese and chopped spring onions and enjoy immediately!
    Beetroot and feta cheese tarte tatin

    Beetroot and feta cheese tarte tatin


  1. says

    I’ve never made beetroot tarte au tartin. I’ve only ever made them with fruit. That looks so colourful and delicious. I love the sound of that cafe and would agree with you that it needs to be bigger so it can fit in a few more tourists. Great name! xx

  2. says

    Fantastic video, Charles! I am a fan of HFW and have even one of his books (from which I made my own black pudding! it was perfect! I will post it maybe when it gets cold and hopefully shock more than one blogger 😉 ). I actually remember seeing a beetroot and feta tart on his website (it wasn’t tatin, just a normal tart), but I loved the idea. Just like you, I wouldn’t keep only the beetroots. It sounds delicious and I love the frying pan method of baking. I must test it one day/
    By the way, I think you like beetroots a lot! (It’s at least a fourth recipe I see here; I have only one and beetroot is not a major ingredient there).
    The café seems to be my kind of place: I could sit there for hours, sipping coffee and not being tempted by most of the cakes (I don’t like pecan pie or peanut butter in sweets and am rarely attracted to cookies… opéra or other delicate French pastry is what I couldn’t resist).

    • says

      Hi Sissi, I suppose you’re right – I do rather like beetroot… I even have another recipe coming up soon, lol 😀

      I guess it’s something which is very satisfying to cook with so I like to use them a lot when I can.

      I can’t believe you made your own black pudding… that’s so cool… I bet it must have been delicious! Did you post it before? If not, I’m looking forward to seeing it when you do!

  3. Barb @ Profiteroles & Ponytails says

    You were just following the instructions on the sign in the cafe: “Eat more cake!” Great post Charles. Always fun to learn about the high points of Paris!

  4. says

    I really like the video, I think that you should record the cooking sounds as well and run them on the background, could make a nice natural effect.
    And you totally were judgemental when talking about gloves!! )

    • says

      Thanks Marianna – I’ll try and look into the cooking sounds… might be difficult though as the microphone will pick up noise from the surroundings too and I live right next to a military airport :/

  5. says

    I adore beet root, and this recipe looks like a great flavour combo, although the puff pastry may be on the rich side for me right now. Nice video although I had no sound on my iPhone, no level gauge at all, so I’ll have to check it on my iMac later. Also, I wanted to mention that the ID data one has to fill in to comment does not allow autofill on my iPhone, yet it does on Greg’s blog, weird eh?
    That coffee shop looks great, I’ll have to check the hood, we’ve rented our flat in Paris and we’re in the Montmartre area. I’m indeed very excited. I hope it works out to meet up.

    • says

      Hi Eva – Greg uses a different comments system to me. I could use it too… I considered it – I’d have to install a plugin called Jetpack… maybe I’ll investigate it some day!

      I definitely hope we can meet – I’ll be sure to set aside an evening!

  6. says

    Ooh I love everything about this post! Fab cake shop, shots of Paris, beetroot and the fabulous HFW. In fact, when I wake up first thing in the morning with my hair all wild I think I probbaly look a lot like him 😉

    • says

      Thanks Chica – I’m not sure if you’ve seen his “Veg” series, but he’s actually cut his hair. Looks older but so much better I think :)

  7. says

    Dear Charles,

    I have never quite like beetroot when I was younger but I love this root vegetable now especially also for its known health benefits of regulating blood pressure. It has such a vibrant colour and whether it’s in slices or chunks when mixed with EVOO, it is absolutely a treat. Better still, when mixed with some crumbly feta like this recipe, I think you have a definite winner.

    • says

      Hi Chopinand – oh yeah… big splash of olive oil and feta cheese… beetroot is so wonderful… warmed with a vinegary syrup reduction… mmm! Damn, I’m making myself hungry 😀

  8. says

    Can you believe I’ve never even TASTED beet root? Well, you should and though I’m not tempted to change that any time in the next century, your tatin certainly looks like it would be tasty if I was a beet root fan. :)

    I’m watching your live action video and really enjoying it. My first time. :)

    • says

      Hi A_ – I’d almost say this didn’t even really taste like beetroot. It’s too bad you’re not willing to give it a try… you never know, you might adore it! Glad you’re enjoying the video :)

      • says

        I started to watch the video but was distracted by a phone call so I missed seeing the whole thing and didn’t get a chance to get back to it. Well done, you, and I enjoyed the tatin technique so much that I’d love to do one (fruit however … apple or pears in season). You did a great job, by the way, and I’m jealous of your lovely copper pan though I know they take a lot of care to keep up.

        Your burner covers reminded me of the time I decided to use decorative covers which were part of a set matching my dishtowels and oven mitts and inadvertently turned on the heat to the wrong burner, scorching the underside. I stopped using them shortly afterwards. :)

  9. says

    Thank you for taking us into a lovely little part of Paris for some delicious pastries. “oops, something fell into my mouth”…so funny. My husband and I love beetroot and your tarte tatin sounds very good. I so enjoyed your video.

    • says

      Thanks so much Karen – glad to find a beetroot lover… it seems to evoke strong reactions from some people… bad childhood memories I guess 😀

  10. says

    Aww look at those beets. That color is so beautiful. Did you wear gloves, LOL? I love the look of your pastry draped over the pan. I am going to experiment next with making some sort of savory tart. This looks delicious Charles. Thanks for sharing your photos too, I love that you do that. How is the new camera working out? How many questions were in this comment? Heheh. Have a great day, my friend.

    • says

      Hi Suzi – I didn’t use gloves actually. If you check out my video you’ll see me do a little hand wave after chopping the beets… they didn’t actually stain as much as I was thinking they would!

      The camera is working out very well, thank you – still haven’t had a chance to read the manual… sigh 😀

  11. says

    Oh beetroot…how I wish I loved thee. I do love the color. Does that count? The tart looks very pretty. I love the cakeshop. I think I’d be in agreement with you on the type of cafe I would prefer. And I would also love to be an ex-pat. Someday perhaps…it’s on our list of things to do. Mike will be eligible for sabbatical someday. :)

    • says

      Hi Kristy – I was thinking of you specifically when I wrote the line about this tarte *maybe* changing your mind… small pieces, with the vinegar syrup… it’s like no beetroot I ever had… really tasty stuff!

      You should come here for a vacation with Mike and the kids – I’d show you all the sights :)

  12. says

    Waiting patiently for my beets to form.
    Great idea with the fast forward while preparing the beets. Did you voice over after you took the video?
    That is a cozy cake shop, lovley photos.

    • says

      Thanks Norma – looking forward to seeing your beets! I did indeed do the voiceover after the video… I’m still trying to find the best balance and video that works for me. Maybe I’ll get my wife to record me one day 😀

      • says

        Did you edit also? How long did it take you to make that video? I imagine a great of time went into the preparation and setup. Did you write a script also? I know, asking too many questions. It is just that you make it look and sound easy but I am sure many hours were spent behind the scene.

        • says

          Hi Norma, I did edit, quite a bit. I shoot the whole thing in maybe 6 different videos and edit them into one, cutting pointless bits out – like there was 3 minutes of video of me stirring beetroot in a pan. Shorter is better I think so I like to try and get them all to be under 5 minutes. Filming itself didn’t add much extra time on to the preparation of the dish, but the processing afterwards took quite some time – a couple of hours at least. Apart from the initial speech (which I recorded on a separate device and had to sync the audio and video!) I recorded all the voiceover later and normally would write a script but thought that I wouldn’t mind “winging it” a bit and keeping it a bit more spontaneous :)

  13. says

    Charles, I am totally impressed with your new video style. Funny enough, I was just thinking the other day how nice it would be to ‘see you’ in your videos… (I have watched a few with your voice) but find this so much more engaging and enjoyable… love the speed control too – how cool is that?!!

    A part de ça, your tarte tatin is GOR.geous – and so is that last photo just before the recipe intro (wow! The light, the light…) – also loved hearing your description of the sugarplum cake shop (what a great name!) “and not this camomile and raspberry infusion junk but proper tea” hee.hee… :)

    • says

      Thanks so much Kelly – I’m so glad you enjoy the new style of video! I hope to create some really nice videos in time, but of course it’s a learning curve… I need to get accustomed with different techniques and so forth.

      Thanks for your kind comment about the dish too – I actually think that this, and the other tart I made recently were two of the simplest, but yummiest things I’ve made in a long time, so if you ever wanted a recommendation – it would totally be these :)

  14. says

    Enjoyed the trip to the SugarPlum Cake Shop! YUM! OK – so I’m no a big fan of beets but this recipe does look delicious. How can it not be good with the sweetness and the puff pasty?! Loved the video! it was helpful to see how you folded the pasty then flipped after baking. Good job!

    • says

      Thanks MJ – so glad you enjoyed the video! I really hope I can get better and better at making them. It’s actually really fun! :)

      Makes me think of that awesome chilli contest video you guys made. That was SO fun to watch 😀

  15. says

    I LOOOOVED your video (you in action!) and I love that you have dashi (??)bottle in the back of stove! HAHA. See, anything Japanese quickly goes into my eyes! Joke aside, it was really fantastic. I can’t wait to see more and more (but I know it’s A LOT of work). I love your commitment to make videos because even more time consuming than step-by-step pictures and you are not allowed to make a mistake! Bravo!!!! Oh, and I love this recipe. It was a lot more fun to learn from you through the video. I was nervous when you try to get rid of the frying pan at the end, but ta-da! No mistake and beautiful tatin! =)

    • says

      Hahahahaha! I can’t believe you home in on the dashi bottle there 😀 It’s like in one of my earlier videos, I had a dutch person immediately comment on the packet of “FIJN ZOUT” I had next to my stove (fine salt), lol.

      Thanks for your very encouraging comments – I’m so glad you enjoyed the video… as time goes by I hope I can make really polished videos, but of course it will take time as I learn techniques etc.

      Someone asked me if I was worried when I removed the pan in case it was a complete disaster. Actually, at the time I wasn’t, but thinking about it now, it could have been a nightmare 😀

  16. says

    Great video, Charles! Love those wriggly red hands too! 😀
    The tart looks absolutely delicious. Now my lunch seems a little pale and boring …. sigh.

    • says

      Oh dear, watching your video made me forget to say how much I love your comment about cake accidentally falling into your open mouth … I’m gonna be using that phrase a lot from now!

  17. says

    Oh these are such gorgeous photos! That place looks so lovely :)
    I’m with Charlie about never before making a savoury tartin… I’m not a beetroot eater, but recently I’ve been happy to munch on the pickled stuff with some Arab dishes, so I should probably give this one a go, especially that I’m loving the Feta combination… :) Gorgeous pics, love the garnish :)

    • says

      Thanks Fati – it seems not many people are into beetroot… poor old beets… so misunderstood, lol 😀

      Welcome back, by the way… I thought maybe you’d vanished forever!

  18. says

    What’s frustrating is that there isn’t a decent cafe of any kind in the US, at least where I live. In Houston there was a place I liked but in Colorado, I can’t seem to find one. I can’t find Fremch cafe/ bakeries either, so at this point I’d take any. It must be a Brit thing that we like our cafes with proper food…who drinks infusions??!

    Thee beet root tart is intriguing. I love beet roots and tarts…so this should be good.

    Lovely pictures.


    • says

      “who drinks infusions??!”

      Haha, I laughed at this. I can imagine the disgust in your voice! Seriously though… they seem really popular here in France… damn things. I want a nice cup of Earl Grey 😀

  19. says

    I have only recently made peace with beets (traumatic childhood memories of mushy beets) and I have to say that this looks really tempting.
    I have never made a savory tatan and I think this is a brilliant idea

    • says

      Hi Sawsan, I hope you’re able (brave enough) to try this tarte – I really do recommend it. The beets are still a little firm and have good bite. With the pastry and cheese and vinegar syrup its a beautiful combination!

  20. says

    Hey, that’s not the Paris I remember! Where’s the rain? Wonderful coffee shop…my kids would have loved the layer cake that fell into your mouth :) And what a marvelous video…you were so poised and professional…well done! Great hearing your voice~

    • says

      Thanks Liz – you’re so kind! I don’t think I was poised at all, but I’m glad if I could give that impression. I’m still trying to find the best video format which works well so I may change a few things as time goes by – I’ll definitely slowly be improving though :)

  21. says

    Charles, I just passed the beetroot by again yesterday. This time I lingered over it, thinking how I really should do something with it. But, remembering how the last two times I bought it with good intentions, I ended up dumping it all in the bin before I ever got around to making anything. THIS could change all that!

    • says

      Hi Jean – I’m the same with some things… I bought a big pack of palm leaves the other day… for wrapping fish and stuff like that… God knows what I thought I’d do with them all… they all went bad and I had to chuck them :(

  22. says

    Congratulation on a job well done. Editing and combining from 6 different videos then voice over, that’s quite an accomplishment, you obviously have media experience.

    • says

      Thank you so much Norma – you’re too kind to say. For me, I still feel like I have such a long way to come in the videos… when I see some food videos sometimes… I feel so envious how good they are!

  23. says

    Oh my goodness Charles-I am seriously impressed! This adds so much more to the blog. Your personality really comes through which is so much more entertaining than a boring clinical run through a recipe…

    As you know, I am a HFW fan and slowly, yes very, very slowly, am coming round to the idea that beetroot is not ‘the root of all evil’…having had a couple of dishes now including Hugh’s fantastic beetroot hummus I am ‘almost’ at the point of picking up that beetroot and placing it in my basket to take home and cook…one day now very soon and I shall make your Beetroot and Feta Cheese Tarte Tatin…just need a touch more therapy first…

    • says

      Thanks so much GD – I made a beetroot dip recently, although not sure if it was anything similar to what HFW calls beetroot “hummus” – I’ll look his recipe up sometime and see what the differences are.

  24. says

    Ok.. first that Cake Shop!! That’s the sort of shop I’d love to own and now I see you’ve got your very own to visit.. that looks like a cake we make for birthdays in our house. Your beet dish.. absolutely stunning.. it looks like a cake in its own right!! Now I’m leaving to check out your video!!

  25. says

    Wow!! Your vid is very impressive! You’re a natural.. so relaxed and your voice is so calm and reassuring.. I loved the little bits that were fast-forwarded for convenience! Too fun!!

    • says

      Thanks so much Barb – I’m glad you think I sound calm, lol… actually I think I sound very nervous… something to work on at least!

      If you make cakes like the one above for birthdays then I know where I’ll be on my next birthday 😀

  26. says

    Thank you for leaving a comment over at my place. I was thinking that you weren’t very busy because I joined your email thingo and never got a notice of a new post. I’ve missed heaps!

    I’ll catch up though. :) I love your food.

    Beetroot is a favourite of mine so this tarte tatin looks divine!

  27. says

    Charles, Thanks for replying to me… I would have waited forever for the Tart Tatin. I simple adore this one–what a brilliant savory Beet and goat cheese tart tatin. This is so tempting I am craving some:) Just made one with pear and caramel a few weeks back but the savory one looks gorgeous!!

    • says

      Thanks so much Malli – glad you could see it. Pear and caramel tarte tatin sounds amazing too… I actually never made a sweet one before – I’ll have to try it!

  28. Vanessa Zinke says

    this was so delicious! we drizzled balsamic vinegar over our servings and loved it all the more!. thank you.


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