That’s right. Beetroot. I was surprised too when I first read the title of this recipe on the blog ‘When Harry Met Salad’, but that only made me more eager to try it.
I am very glad I decided to make this cake because it was absolutely delicious! I adore beetroot and dark chocolate, so the combination of the two was fantastic for me. The flavour of the beetroot was not very strong, but present. When I melted the chocolate for the recipe, it didn’t look like that much compared to the 4 beetroots I had pureed, so I added a bit extra and a teaspoon of sifted cocoa powder. I’m glad I did this because I think it would have been too beetrooty if I didn’t (maybe because my beetroots were a bit big).
My verdict? Give this recipe a go! It’s such an interesting combination of flavours which really go well together. Also, there is no butter; instead just some vegetable oil and the pureed beetroots, so that’s a plus. And, of course, it looks amazing. The beetroots and the dark chocolate make the cake look velvety and rich.
Here’s a link to the recipe on the food blog ‘When Harry Met Salad’: http://whenharrymetsalad.com/2009/07/12/chocolate-beet-cake/
But here it is copied and pasted:
Chocolate Beet Cake
from John Peterson’s Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables
3-4 medium beets
butter and flour for preparing the pan
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 c. mild-flavored vegetable oil
1¾ c. sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
1½ c. all purpose flour
½ c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
powdered sugar for dusting
1) Scrub the beets with a vegetable brush and trim roots. Trim stems and save greens for some other use. (I’m not sure what other use, but I’m working on it.) Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the beets. Boil for 20-30 minutes, or until the beets are tender and the skins slip off easily. Let the beets cool a little, the slip the skins off under cold water and then purée the beets in a blender or food processor. You should have about 2 cups of beet purée.
2) Preheat your oven to 375°F. Butter and flour a Bundt pan and set it aside. (This is where I went wrong — I followed the original instructions to coat the pan with oil (!) and did not abandon ship even when I noted that the oil was pooling in the bottom of the pan rather than coating the whole interior of the pan. Use butter; it sticks.)
3) Fill a medium saucepan about halfway with water and bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and set a heat-proof bowl over the simmering water. Place the chocolate and ¼ c. of the oil in the bowl and heat, stirring frequently, just until the chocolate melts.
4) Combine the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly beat in the remaining oil, the chocolate mixture, beets, and vanilla.
5) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt. Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg and chocolate mixture until just combined.
6) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool completely before sprinkling with powdered sugar to serve.