I know what you’re thinking.  Chocolate beet cake?  I dismissed the idea as soon as it was presented to me.  As you probably know by now, I am not a big fan of vegetables.  But I decided to take a second look, and I am glad I did.  Because the cake was not as weird as I thought it was going to be.

This cake was made for the always wonderful Cake Day, which you might remember from last year.  Last year the fabulous Kelley and I made this beauty, which was wildly popular, so we knew it would be hard to follow up this year.  So we decided to go off the beaten path, and went with the chocolate beet cake that Kelley discovered online.  It was simple, but had rave reviews, and seemed completely appropriate for a Cake Day celebration.

We also got bonus points for the fact that we made the cake during the hottest weekend of the year so far, and in the middle of a boil water order for the Greater Boston area.  We made do, and still made this lovely cake.  People were a bit hesitant to eat it at the celebration, which I can understand, especially since it did not have any special decorations, or even any frosting.  Besides, Linden had made pop rocks cupcakes, what can possibly beat that?

The consensus was that the cake was quite good.  A little lacking on the chocolate flavor, if you ask me, but then again by now you should know that I love my chocolate.  Brad liked it quite a bit, he tends to like more classic tasting cakes that aren’t so overpowering in flavor.  Although I would maybe like to top this with some sort of frosting, just to give it a bit more something extra.  But you definitely can not taste the beets, they just lend an earthy flavor and make the cake quite dense and moist.  It was fairly easy to make, although we apparently had monster beets, as we had enough to make at least two cakes.

Chocolate Beet Cake

Source: Straight From the Farm

1 C. margarine or butter, softened, divided
1 1/2 C. packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs at room temp
2-3 oz. dark chocolate
5 medium beets (2 C. pureed) *Our beets were giant, so we probably only needed 2-3
1 t. vanilla extract
2 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
confectioners’ sugar for dusting

To make beet puree, trim stems and roots off beets and quarter them.  Place in heavy sauce pan filled with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 50 mins or until the beets are tender.  Drain off remaining liquid and rinse beets in cold water as they’ll be too hot to handle otherwise.  Slide skins off and place beets in blender.  Process until a smooth puree forms.  Let cool slightly before using in cake.  I like to make the puree ahead and store it in the fridge, sometimes up to several days in advance.

In a mixing bowl, cream 3/4 cup margarine and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Melt chocolate with remaining butter in the microwave on high in 20 second intervals, stirring each time until smooth. Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture, beets and vanilla into the creamed mixture.  The batter will appear separated so don’t fret.

Combine flour, baking soda , salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. spring form pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 60-70 minutes  or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely before dusting with confectioners’ sugar.

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