Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

From Pg.229 of Farmer and Chef Asheville contributed by Jennifer Thomas, Pastry- Chef

Dark ruby-toned and moist, with earthy chocolate flavor, this cake is a tease: it’s controversial main ingredient is what makes so. Unless you have a highly refined sensitivity to the taste of fresh beets, you are likely not to detect the very thing that gives the cake its standout richness. It could be reminiscent of a red velvet cake, but with more earthy, pronounced chocolate flavor and a grateful lack of artificial coloring. Not overly sweet, the slices of cake go well with a soft dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream on top. Makes 8 to 12 servings

3 1/2 ounces sweet ground chocolate, such as Ghiradelli 8 ounces

(2 cups) self-rising flour

Pinch of salt 7 ounces light brown sugar (not packed)

3 1/2 ounces 60% cacao dark chocolate, finely chopped

1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (4 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter

9 ounces beets, pre-cooked and puréed in a food processor

3 large eggs, whisked 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Softly whipped cream Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch cake pan or 10 to 12 small ramekins. If you are using ramekins, place them on a rimmed baking sheet for easier handling. Sift together the sweet ground chocolate, self-rising flour, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Alternatively, melt them in a microwave-safe bowl at medium power for 2 to 3 minutes or until the chocolate is softened; stir until smooth. Let it cool 5 to 10 minutes. Mix together the beet purée, eggs, and vanilla in a small bowl. Stir the melted chocolate mixture and the beet mixture into the dry ingredients, blending well. Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake pan or two-thirds of the way up the sides of each ramekin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes for the 8-inch cake or 20 to 35 minutes for the ramekins. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with the tip of a small, sharp knife, and invert the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature, topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

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