Chocolate Beet Cake!
Some of you are now laughing your asses off, while others are looking quizzically at what you've just read, or perhaps gagging. But trust me on this one. It's the best dam cake ever! And it has veggies. Nutritious *and* delicious, what more could you want? The recipe is from my grandmother, although I have to admit grabbing the frosting and ganache recipe from another cook book this morning. I've never felt the need to frost this cake, it's amazingly soft and moist already, but they were near where I had tucked the cake recipe, and it just sounds too freaking cool to pass up. :P If you don't feel like cooking it, drop me a line- I'm always up for company over a slice of cake and spot of coffee.
2 cups beet puree (about 3 large beets)
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
To make the beet puree, you can boil the beets for about an hour. Once the beets are soft and cooled, mash them with a potato masher or a food processor.
Preheat the oven to 325F. Or don't- uses less energy that way.
Prepare a round cake pan (8-9 inch) by greasing then dusting with cocoa. Flour leaves weird white marks.
Combine the melted butter, sugar, eggs and water, and mix until smooth.
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together into a bowl, and then stir in the salt. Then, slowly add the dry ingredients into the butter/egg mixture. When it is smooth, fold in the beet puree.
Scoop the batter into a prepared baking pan. Bake for about 35 minutes (but a lot depends on how juicy your beets were, your oven, etc. so be prepared to check often and just go with the flow).
Cool the cake on a wire rack before icing.
For the Icing
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 cup beet puree
1/2 lb confectioners’ sugar (or to taste)
Melt one stick of butter in a sauce pan with the beet puree. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then run the mixture through a fine sieve.
Cream the other stick of butter, and then add the butter/beet mix. Beat until it is fully combined. Then, gradually add the icing sugar until it thickens and is smooth.
To make the ganache
1/8 cup heavy cream
2 T Beet Puree
1 oz dark chocolate (~70% cacao)
In a heavy bottom pan, heat the cream and beet puree on medium heat, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat just before it boils. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Strain into a small cup to remove any beet pulp. Set aside.
Heat water to about 150F and place in a metal bowl, about 1/2 way up. Place another, smaller, metal bowl on top to act as a double boiler. Check the temperature… you should be able to touch the bottom of the top metal bowl. If it’s too hot to touch, add some cold water to the bottom bowl. You want the top bowl to be about 120F when you add the chocolate.
Coursely chop the chocolate and add to the top metal bowl. Set the other chocolate aside for the coating. Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula until it’s completely melted. Remove it from the heat, and slowly pour in the cream mixture, and whisk until it’s smooth and you can see the whisk lines in the chocolate. Don’t over stir! Spoon into a small cup, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Once cooled, the ganache can be spread over or piped on like icing, or used to fill cupcakes.