If Only All Vegetables Could Be Prepared Like This

Chocolate Beet Cake

Remember last fall when I didn’t know what to do with beets besides beet, pecan, and goat cheese salad? Well, a kind soul named Jenny alerted me to a recipe for, of all things, beet cake, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind (thanks, Jenny!). As soon as I saw beets appearing on farmers market tables this summer, I snatched up a few bunches specifically so I could try a beet cake recipe.

I know. Beets and cake. Not the first combination that comes to mind. But before you go getting all judgmental on me, think for a minute. Do you like carrot cake? What about zucchini bread? See, veggies and baked goods have had a long-standing history of successful marriages. I urge you to open-mindedly give beet cake a try. It’s moist, rich, and fudgy, and if I hadn’t told you, you’d probably never know that beets were the key ingredient. Plus, it has chocolate. Nothing can go wrong when you add chocolate.

Also, a side note: save those beet greens. Last year I didn’t realize they were edible (I was thinking they were kind of like carrot tops), so I discarded far too many. But they’re great used in place of spinach or Swiss chard in recipes like my wilted spinach with golden raisins.

Roasted Beet Chocolate Cake

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 cups pureed roasted beets
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour (or spray with floured baking spray) a 10-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

Combine the chocolate and ¼ cup of the oil in a microwave-proof dish. Slowly melt in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring vigorously after each interval until chocolate and oil are combined and smooth. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Yes, your batter will be this lovely fuschia color. Don’t worry, it will turn chocolatey as it bakes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in the remaining ¾ cup of oil, beets, vanilla, and chocolate mixture. Add the flour mixture and mix slowly until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted halfway between the center and edge of the pan comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar right before serving.

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