Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Beet Cake -- Seriously

I know it sounds bizarre, but then think of all the things we eat now and don't even think about it. Artichokes? Fiddle Ferns? Buddha's Hand? (Okay, this weekend my friend, Kathy, and I were told that this last one really is a novelty and that we'd probably be better off using Meyer Lemons. ) But anyway...I'll post my recipe, but you must see this video. If you love it like I do, take a look at their other videos at tiger in a jar

So, here is my version of Beet Cake:

Chocolate Beet Cake
Adapted from David Lebovitz's website
I'm always looking for new ways to use familiar ingredients. Harrison is fairly used to this by now. But even he looked at me sideways when I told him I wanted to make beet cake. 
8 oz beets, unpeeled, rinsed and scrubbed free of dirt (You can use canned beets (infinitely more simple, but if you haven't roasted beets yourself, you might try it.)
7 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup hot espresso (or water) -- even very strong regular coffee would be good here
7 oz butter, at room temperature, cubed
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder (the darkest you can find, natural or Dutch-process)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
pinch of salt
1 cup superfine sugar -- no need to buy superfine sugar. Just whirl your granulated sugar in a food processor or blender for a few moments.
1. Butter an 8- or 8 1/2 inch  springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. If you don't have this, use a lightly greased and parchment lined 8 inch cake pan (round or square).
2. Boil the beets in salted water with the lid askew until they’re very tender when you stick a knife in them about 45 minutes. Drain then rinse the beets with cold water. When cool enough to handle, slip off the peels, cut the beets into chunks, and grind them in a food processor until you get a coarse, yet cohesive, puree. (If you don’t have a food processor, use a cheese grater.) If you are using canned beets, skip all of the cooking and just puree them. 
3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring as little as possible. You can also do this in the microwave, but be very careful that you don't scorch your chocolate.
4. Add the butter to the warm chocolate and let them melt together.
5. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a separate bowl.
6. Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until the butter is melted. Let sit for a few minutes to cool, then stir the egg yolks together and briskly stir them into the melted chocolate mixture. Fold in the beets.
7. In a stand mixer, or by hand, whip the egg whites until stiff. Gradually fold the sugar into the whipped egg whites with a spatula, then fold them into the melted chocolate mixture, being careful not to overmix.
8. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.
9. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and reduce the heat of the oven to 325ºF, and bake the cake for , or until the sides are just set but the center is still is just a bit wobbly. Do not overbake.
Let cake cool completely, then remove it from the pan.

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