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Chocolate Beet Cake

Chocolate Beet Cake

Every once in a while I run across a perfectly confounding chocolate dessert recipe that incorporates an ingredient “X,” like dark chocolate zucchini cake, one of my favorites, or black bean brownies. This chocolate cake recipe from the Farmer John’s Cookbook tucks a bunch of sweet beets into the batter. Beets really aren’t that much of a stretch for a dessert, as sweet as they are, but still … beets? Sure enough, the beets give it their moisture, their sweetness, and their rich color–but none of their beet flavor.

Oil and flour for preparing the pan
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup mild flavored vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar (or your favorite natural sweetener)
2 cups cooked pureed beets (3 medium beets)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Lightly coat a 10-cup Bundt or tube pan (or two loaf pans) with oil and dust it with flour.

2. Partially fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer. Put the chocolate and 1/4 cup of the oil in the top of the double boiler. Heat until just the chocolate melts; remove from the heat and stir until well combined.

3. Combine the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly beat in the remaining 3/4 cup oil, chocolate mixture, beets, and vanilla.

4. Sift the all-purpose flour and whole-wheat pastry flour into a large bowl. Stir in the baking soda and salt. Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg and chocolate mixture just until the flour is mixed in. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

5. Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

6. Carefully remove cake from the pan and let cool on a rack. When completely cool, dust with powdered sugar.

Read more: All recipes, Desserts, Food, , ,

Adapted from Farmer John's Cookbook by Farmer John Peterson (Gibbs Smith, 2006)

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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1:02AM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

Intriguing but I wouldn't use some of those unhealthy items - I'm sure it tastes excellent because beets re full of nutrition...

6:21PM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

Sounds yummy.

5:13PM PDT on Jul 13, 2014

funny cake good to give to kids...

7:20PM PDT on Jul 12, 2014

Sounds interesting except for the 9 cups of sugar...

This is what I would change:
- 1/2 cup of sugar (I use American made xylitol)
- 1/3 cup of coconut oil (saturated fat is excellent for you, I would imagine 1 whole cup is excessive though)
- 1/2 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 1/2 cup barley flour
- 1/2 cup potato or tapioca starch

Add 1/3 cup of organic full fat yogurt if the batter is too dry (to make up for reduced amount of oil).

I use a steamer for all my veggies. Medium size beets usually cook in 40 minutes. Let cool and peel afterwards.

I hope this helps.

1:21AM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

Thank you :)

6:31AM PDT on Jul 28, 2013

sounds good thanks

6:21AM PDT on Mar 11, 2013


9:41AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

thaaanks look great

5:39AM PST on Jan 30, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:44PM PST on Dec 10, 2012

I'm intrigued by the beets but would prefer a healthier version of this recipe. Hope I can find one, or create one.

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