23 November 2011

Chocolate Beet Cake

My first experience with chocolate beet cake was at a potluck earlier this year when Chris and I went to our CSA farm for a day of cider pressing. It was pretty exquisite, but it was much more a chocolate cake that incidentally had beets in it than a chocolate beet cake. The recipe that I found for making it at home, however, is more the latter. This is a beet cake that has some lovely chocolatey-ness to it, and I love it.

An additional note now that I've made this recipe again: I found that the cake is very different depending on how you make the puree. Boiling gives a much less pronounced beet flavor. This was probably obvious if I had thought on it, but I hadn't until it smacked me in the face. That said, I found boiling to be even easier than roasting and definitely shorter, so it's a bit of a toss up as to which I prefer.

So, without further ado, here's the recipe.

Chocolate Beet Cake
makes a two-layer 9-inch cake
adapted from Tiger in a Jar

1/2 cup oil (or butter)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs

4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 pound (~2 cups) beet puree*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ounce liquor of choice (I used whiskey)

10 ounces (2 to 2-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

confectioner's sugar or frosting (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease two 9-inch cake pans

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together (or cream if using butter) oil and brown sugar; then add eggs and mix well

3. In a medium mixing bowl (or double boiler) melt chocolate and 1/4 cup butter and stir until smooth

4. Cool the chocolate slightly before adding beets, vanilla and liquor

5. Add the beet mix to the butter/sugar/egg mix and blend thoroughly (this apparently may appear separated, but I didn't have such an issue)

6. Sift together flour, soda, and salt before adding to the wet ingredients and stirring until smooth

7. Pour one-half the batter into each cake pan and bake for 20-30 minutes

8. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely

9. Dust with confectioner's sugar or frost and serve

*If you've not made beet puree before, it's very simple. You can either just boil the beets until they're soft, skin them and put them in the blender with a bit of water, or you can skin them, roast them with a bit of water then pour all that in the blend and puree it. It does take about an hour to roast them versus about 30 minutes to boil, but still easy-peasy. And cooked beets (either way) or beet puree freezes just fine.

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