Thursday, October 15, 2015

Chocolate Beet Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

"I'd never eat a beet, because I could not stand the taste. I'd rather nibble drinking straws, or fountain pens, or paste. I'd eat a window curtain and perhaps a roller skate, but a beet, you may be certain, would be wasted on my plate..." 
Haha - This about sums up what many people think about beets. But I am here to tell you that beets are not only one of the most nutritious veggies, they are also delicious! Beets grow very well in Alaska, and can be used in so many ways. This recipe is a great way to incorporate beets and some of their goodness into a decadent chocolate cake. While you don't really taste the beets, they add unbelievable moistness and heighten the overall flavor as well as add richness to the color. It's a little time-intensive but completely worth it! ~Patti
3 ounces dark chocolate
3 eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
1-1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/3 cups beet puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2-1/4 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate ganache:
9 ounces baking chocolate
 (or milk, semi-sweet - I used dark)
1 cup heavy cream

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Makes a 10" round delicious cake.

Beets at the farmers market in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Chioggia beet, also known as candy cane beet, has beautiful red and white spiral stripes. For this recipe I used regular red beets.

Clean, peel and chop 3 to 4 large beets into small chunks. Simmer in a covered pot in just enough water to barely cover them. Cook until fork tender. Drain and place beets in blender or Kitchen-aid and puree. Measure out a cup and a half and set aside. 

Cake: Melt the chocolate in pan or double boiler. In separate bowl whisk together eggs, sugar and oil. Slowly add beet puree, melted chocolate and vanilla into the egg mixture. Beat just until combined.

Sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt. Add to beet batter. Gently fold in until all is combined. Do not over mix the batter - just enough to blend all ingredients. I don’t recommend a kitchen aid, just a big spoon.

Prepare a 10" cake pan by spreading a teaspoon of melted butter (I prefer this) or oil over surface and then sprinkle flour all over – tap out the extra – then pour batter into pan.

Bake about 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Baking time can vary a bit depending on oven.

Ganache: Right before cake is done, make the ganache frosting. Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl (break it up if necessary). Heat cream in a pan on your stove top, just until is starts to barely boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until a smooth sauce is formed.

When cake is done, cool on wire rack, about 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove cake from pan and pour still-warm ganache over the top and spread. I let it run down the sides. This frosting hardens nicely after cooling at room temperature for awhile. You can also refrigerate it to set it faster.

Six beet benefits:

1. Lower blood pressure

2. Increase stamina
3. Fight inflammation
4. Anti-cancer properties
5. Rich in nutrients and fiber
6. Detoxification support

...and as if these weren't reasons enough to get your beet on, the greens also pack tons of nutrients and vitamins and can ward off osteoporosis and strengthen the immune system. Use them in salads.