Midweek recipe: Chocolate beet cake

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We’ve all been eating our vegetables pretty well lately, so we’ve earned something decadent. I enjoy beets on their own, but something about their color and texture had me wanting to do something rich and chocolatey with them. Sure enough, if you do a Web search, there are plenty of recipes for various beet-chocolate baked goods.

I couldn’t find anything that had quite the dense, fudge-like texture I was after, so I took my favorite brownie recipe and altered it a little. I’m not calling these brownies, because brownies don’t have beets in them, but this is a dense cake that will satisfy even the veggie-phobic in your household.

Chocolate beet cake

3 small to medium beets, trimmed of greens

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa (Yes, this brand makes a difference. It is not just plain cocoa powder. It also makes amazing hot chocolate.)

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Place beets in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer 45 minutes to an hour, or until fork tender. Remove from water (which can be used in soups) and let cool. Remove skins by rubbing them with your hands. Puree beets in a food processor or blender. You will need about 1 cup of beet puree.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8 square pan, or an 8-inch round cake pan.

Crack eggs into a mixing bowl, add sugar and vanilla and beat everything together with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Add butter and mix to incorporate. Add beet puree and mix.

Without getting out another bowl, dump the cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon on top of the wet ingredients. Mix just until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread in pan and bake 28-30 minutes, or until they reach desired level of doneness.

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