The answer to my chocolate craving lately: beet chocolate cake.
It seems to satisfy on all levels: moist, chocolaty goodness with mega-nutritious, colorful vegetables secretly packed inside without the slightest hint of “beetiness” to give them away. Also makes for a nice two-layer cake to showcase on a cake platter if the Martha mood strikes. (the one where presentation is just as important as taste and nutrients)
Top that off with my favorite frosting, a cream cheese number that never fails to melt in your mouth, unless you forget to let the cream cheese and butter warm to room temp. before scrambling to make it in the midst of a 3-yr-old birthday celebration…
Beet Chocolate cake recipes abound, but here’s the one I like. (I’ve tried two – the first was just a tad beety)4oz. unsweetened chocolate 1 c. olive oil, divided 3 eggs, preferably from Lovely Ladies such as ours 1 3/4c sugar (we use raw, unrefined sugar exclusively and it’s delicious) 2 cups pureed cooked beets (3 medium beets, or two bunches small beets, we found) 1T vanilla 1 1/2c all-purpose flour 1/2c whole wheat pastry flour (I used whole wheat bread flour – was great) 2t baking soda
First, boil or steam the beets until nice and tender. Puree and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly coat pan(s) with oil or butter and dust with flour. 10 c. bundt pan, two layer pans, or a 9×13 pan should all work fine.
Set up a double boiler with water, bring to a boil over high, reduce heat, then add the chocolate and 1/4c oil to the top. Heat just until chocolate melts; remove from heat and stir until completely melted and mixed uniformly with oil.
Mix eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. (or by hand until your forearms are the size of tree trunks) Slowly add 3/4c oil, chocolate mix, beets, and vanilla while mixing slowly.
Sift the flours into a large bowl; stir in baking soda and salt. Add to batter mixture until just incorporated. Pour batter into your prepared pan(s).
Bake about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Let the pan(s) cool on a wire rack for about 30 min. Remove cake from pan and cool to room temp. before frosting, or you may end up with a tasty, but horrendous-looking confectionery landslide, which I did in round 1. You can also dust gently with powdered sugar in lieu of frosting.
The Best Cream Cheese Frosting EVER (adapted from a recipe I found on a blog somewhere, adapted a teeny bit, and can’t for the life of me trace back to give due credit.)
Beat cream cheese and butter until nice and “whippy,” about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and beat well. Slowly add powdered sugar in a few additions, beating well until combined.
A quick google search on beets will highlight some of the many, many nutrients packed in these little jewels. If you’re lucky enough to get your beets with the greens left on, they make a delicious addition to salads and contain many of the same nutrients.
That’s all fine and dandy, and makes me feel good about eating well, but really….it’s all about the chocolate. Chocolate with benefits.