I would like to say a very happy birthday to my mother all the way down in Los Angeles. She is a remarkable and wonderful woman who I respect and adore dearly. It makes me sad that she lives so far away, although I am quite sure that we will live near one another someday. Since I wasn't able to spend her birthday with her, I decided that I would bake a cake in her honor, a dark chocolate cake made with an abundance of beets. I don't really know when beets started making their appearance in baking, but I have seen them popping up a lot lately. Ever since I saw Bea's Dark Chocolate & Beet Brownies recipe, I have been quite curious about the combination of these two seemingly different flavors.
This cake recipe is one I came up with myself using a combination of many cake recipes I found on the internet. I used fresh beets grated very thinly, resulting in a very moist texture much like a carrot cake. The flavor is deep chocolate, not very sweet, with a sort of rich earthiness which must be the result of the beets. I topped it off with a thin layer of dark chocolate ganache, something I know my mom would truly appreciate.
Dark Chocolate Beet Cake
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups shredded fresh beets
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 or 9-inch cake pan.
Beat eggs, sugar and oil until light and fluffy. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to egg mixture and thoroughly combine. Add melted chocolate, vanilla, and beets and mix well.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.
I make my own chocolate ganache from scratch with just measuring equal parts milk, soy milk, or heavy cream with chopped semisweet or dark chocolate. It is a fairly simple process which can be learned about here.