Baking with B: Chocolate Beet Cake

Aarrggh! I gave the secret ingredient away in the title already. You may wish to be less forthcoming than I have been- beets have a bad rap for being so red, so earthy-flavored, so…beet-ish. However, when they’re mixed with chocolate for some reason it just works. (I’d like to know more about the person who came up with that idea.)

I don’t often foray into baking with vegetables (except this time) that but that lonely can of beets in my cupboard (plus my friends’ insistence that it could not be done) inspired me to make a Chocolate Beet Cake and honestly? It’s kind of marvelous. Don’t trust me? Try it yourself! It’s been loosely adapted on this recipe I found here.

Chocolate Beet Cake (makes 2 9-inch round cakes)

3/4 c. butter

2 c. white sugar

3 eggs

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 c. milk

1 14-oz. can of beets, drained and rinsed, with 1/2 c. of beet juice for reserve

1/2 c. reserved beet juice

First, you gotta puree those beets. Use your blender, slap-chop, whatever- just get ‘er done. Me, I went the old-fashioned way, simmering the beets in a saucepan on the stove until super moist before going at them with my hand-blender. Set aside beets aside.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar before adding eggs. Beat until thick and frothy. Slowly start adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a bit at a time, alternating with the milk until fully combined.

Remember those beets? Stir them in last, then the beet juice you’ve saved from the can. Grease and flour two 9-inch round or square baking pans and pour batter into pans. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick or a knife comes out clean when inserted.

B’s Tip: You know what they say about buying good-quality cocoa powder? Yeah, I laughed too, but I wasn’t laughing after a friend gave me some of hers to use in this cake. It honestly makes a world of difference so if you can afford it (or if it’s a special occasion) I highly recommend using the best you can find for this recipe.

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears (usually) every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: Cherry Vanilla Cake

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a post about something I’ve made- and the truth is, I haven’t really been baking as much as I used to. Seeing all the fresh fruit around at this time of year, however, sparked my interest again. That, and having a friend who has a cherry pitter gave me a great deal of encouragement. (Don’t have one? I suggest you befriend someone who does, immediately.)

Cherry Vanilla Cake (serves 8-12)

2/3 c. butter, softened

4 eggs

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 c. milk

2 c. fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 c. butter, softened

2 c. icing sugar, sifted

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Melt butter, set aside. In a bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light yellow and very thick (use a mixer if you’re not brave enough to do it by hand). Stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture a little bit at a time, alternating with the butter and milk. Stir until thoroughly combined. Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cherries, reserving the remainder. Grease and flour two round (6-cup) cake pan. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake on low oven rack for 40-50 minutes. Let cakes rest in pan 10-15 minutes before turning them out on racks to cool.

Next, place the remaining cherries in a small saucepan and cook on low heat, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture resembles thick liquid (you may have to add a pinch of water or two to get the consistency needed). Remove from heat and cool.

To make buttercream frosting, beat butter until creamy and add sugar 1/2 c. at a time, until well combined. Add vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

Slice the top off of your first cake. Spread with buttercream frosting, and spoon over half of the cherry mixture. Place second cake on top and layer with the remaining frosting and cherries. Top with additional fresh cherries, if desired.

I love the combination of vanilla and cherry flavors, and using fresh cherries gives it a sweet-tart flavor instead of using something from a can. There’s so many fresh, local fruits in season though that you could swap the cherries out with virtually anything your little heart desires- this cake recipe is simple enough to support a dazzling array of flavors. This cake would be awesome served warm and as-is, but sometimes it’s nice to go the extra step.

Man, that felt good to share another baking post again. Hopefully I won’t be as long in sharing the next one!

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears  (usually) every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.