Saturday, June 13

Chocolate BEET Cake!

Let's talk about beets. It was while perusing the farmers market I spotted them. The largest beets I have seen in my entire life. Of course, I had to have them. It was only days before that I had saved Joy the Baker's Chocolate Beet Cake recipe. The timing could not have been more perfect. It was as if Joy had sent them down from heaven just for me. So thanks again, Joy, for another recipe that turned out perfect!

For the Cake:
2 beets, trimmed of their greens
1 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For the Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese
5 cups sifted powdered sugar
4 tbs finely grated beets
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp milk
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Thoroughly wash beets under running water, and trim their leaves. Place cleaned beets in foil.  Drizzle with vegetable oil, and seal foil together.  Using a baking sheet, place your beets in the oven.  Roast them until tender, about 1 hour. After baking, allow the beets to cool completely.  Beets will be easy to peel once completely cooled.

Grate the peeled beets with your finest grating plane.  Measure 3/4 cup of grated beets for the cake and 4 tablespoons for the frosting.  Then set them aside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Grease two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans.  Trace a piece of parchment paper so it is the same size as the bottom of the cake pan.  Cut it out and place inside the cake pan.  Now, also grease the parchment paper.  You can set these aside while you prepare the cake.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars.  Then, beat them on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  One at a time, incorporate the eggs, for about a minute each.  You may need to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Once all eggs are incorporated, beat in beets and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients at a time to the butter and egg mixture.  Beating on low speed , slowly add the buttermilk.  Once just incorporated, add the other half of the dry ingredients.  Beat on medium speed until milk and dry ingredients are just incorporated.  Try not to overmix the batter. Cake batter should be on the thicker side.

Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.  Bake for 23 to 25 minutes (for a 9-inch pan) or 30-32 minutes (for an 8-inch pan).  Cake is done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove cakes from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Invert cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting and assembling the cake.

Preparing the Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat softened cream cheese until pliable and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and beat until well combined.  Scrape down the bowl as necessary.  Add in the finely grated beets.  Followed by the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, milk, lemon juice, and salt.  Beat on medium speed until smooth and silky.  Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes before frosting the cooled cakes.

To assemble the cake, place one layer of cake on a cake stand or cake plate.  Top with a generous amount of pink frosting.  Spread evenly.  Place the other cake on top of the frosting.  Top with frosting.  Work frosting onto the sides of the cake.  You will have extra frosting left over.  Refrigerate for an hour before serving (it will make the cake easier to slice).  Cake is best within two days, but will last in the refrigerator for up to four.  

 This recipe has been modified, but was based on THIS Joy the Baker recipe.