Sunday, August 30, 2015

Chocolate Chunk Beet Cake

This cake is dense like a brownie and it’s light sweetness and chocolaty flavor masks the beets and blends them in with no iron-ish aftertaste (my issue with eating beets).  It has become the only way my family will eat beets, so I have decided to embrace it.  Enjoy!

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There is a very ungraceful part of me that wants to scream about common sense, health, food and the connections therein at people in the grocery store.  I never do it, because, rude, but at the same time…. Don’t people understand about the connections between real food and health yet?  The documentaries and tv shows and news and articles on facebook posted by your favorite aunt and yet, there it is, food that is killing you, overflowing the cart like it’s going out of style.  What always stops me from actually saying anything is getting punched in the nose the fact it’s not actually a food crisis we are dealing with.  It’s a time crisis.  It’s a priority crisis.  It’s an education crisis.  Because the food is there.  Just waiting on the outskirts of the grocery store for some health food nut to come and buy it and know what to do with it.  But box mixes take 10 minutes to make and taste great thanks to all the chemical engineering that could go into them and the slave labor that made the ingredients cost $1.50 on sale this week.  It’s hard to compete with that.  It really REALLY is.  It takes time to plan for the busy times.  And if you’re like a lot of parents, summer is busier than any other time of year.  So the time when the food is most abundant, the time and priority is in very short supply. 

During the canning season, I COMPLETELY understand the appeal!  Isn’t that ironic?  That at the time where I am storing food away like a little squirrel in all of its in-season and organic goodness I am also most tempted to dial up for Dominos? 

For the last couple years I have been more and more dedicated to not over planning my summer.  This helps with the ‘time and priority crisis’ that I used to have this time of year.  Saving my days be for the things that I think are important.  You know, like sitting around with my daughter and laying on the grass with my little boys and making damn good food.  And I have started to really put that food away.  Not just during canning season, but baked goods in the freezer so that when food is less abundant and time is scarce, we still have real food.  Because we eat 3 times a day (at least!) so food is kinda important. 

So here is some real food for you.  A beet cake recipe that I got from a dear friend a decade ago which comes back each year as the only way my family will eat beets….   Let’s just embrace it. And I have modified it into this recipe for you (and me!). Today I am making puree from 25lbs of beets from two different gifted gardeners (mine are not ready yet) into chocolate beet cupcakes and cake and putting them into the freezer for those times where cake is required. 


Chocolate Chunk Beet Cake

Oven to 350*
  • 3 cups cooked blended beets (cooled)
  • 1 cup baking chocolate powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups sucanat or cane sugar
  • 1 1/4 c oil (I have used peanut, olive, and canola and all work great)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
One at a time add the above together and beat in a large bowl.
Add together in another bowl:
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (a heavy flour like spelt or whole wheat all work best)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tea baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks (I use dark chocolate chunks)
Mix into wet mixture (hence LARGE bowl) just until blended.  Do not over mix.  Makes for tough cake.

CAKE: Grease pan liberally with oil and flour so the cake does not stick.  It’s a sticky cake.  Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Makes one 9X13 or two 8” spring form (shown).
CUPCAKES: Grease tin with oil and flour or use cupcake liners. Bake for 15-18 minutes and set on a rack to cool.  Makes 24 cupcakes.  
For a breakfast cake, eat plain or with butter.  It is not too sweet and the texture is brownie-like.  Or for a dessert cake, add this decadent cream cheese buttercream frosting and indulge in pure joy on a fork:

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
  • 2 8 oz packages room temp cream cheese
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 2 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Then whip it all together until smooth.  Add milk if too lumpy, add confectioners sugar if too wet.  Then whip it good!

Food.  It’s what’s for dinner.  And dessert.  And heck, how about a slice of this cake for breakfast?  Because, why not?  It’s food.  (This is when I dime myself out and say that my kids ate nothing but this recipe (as unfrosted cupcakes) and string cheese for a whole day because I was canning peaches.  And canning peaches requires sacrifice.)



Shari said...

I love that you do all this. The cake sounds great. I am working to try to grow beets and carrots in this drought. There are some real challanges to keeping the soil moist but I am going to try. Love it.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Thanks, Mom. :) I do love it. And obviously, Cyan is obsessed with this life too. So I have a partner in crime. ;)

Love Val

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