[Please allow me this one cutesie title, and I promise not to do it again (fingers crossed secretly behind back).]
That’s no misspelling you see in the title. I actually made chocolate cake yesterday and put beets in it. And, if you’re asking (as my husband D. did) Why?, then I’ll tell you as I so eloquently told him, Just because.
Just because I had a single solitary beet in the fridge and I wanted to get rid of it. Just because beets are one of “10 Super Foods to Use in Your Recipes.” But primarily just because I vowed to get E. to eat beets and like them!
And…it worked! I watched as she finished her piece of cake with Banana-Peanut Butter Sauce, and just as I was about to inform her of the secret ingredient, she looked up at me, reading my mind as only a child can, and said, “Hey, what happened to that yucky red stuff you were cooking?” “It’s in the cake,” I said, with only a hint of evil glee. “Cool,” she said, and brought her plate to the sink.
Well, that was a let-down. But the cake wasn’t. It’s very dark-cocoa tasting, with no hint of the beet about it. It’s not terribly sweet, so probably next time I’ll add a bit more sugar. And I’ll put it in a smaller pan, or perhaps in two 8-inch round pans. But it’s definitely a keeper–and a slick way to get whole wheat flour and beta carotene into your loved ones.
Beet Chocolate Cake
- 1 large beet
- unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (I like white whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup unbleached white flour (or more whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Peel and dice one large beet. Place the pieces in a saucepan with water to cover and boil until soft. (I’ve heard that you can buy canned beets, so you may want to skip this step–and the resulting red hands–by using pre-cooked beets.) Allow the beets to cool, and then drain them, reserving the red water for another purpose. Put the drained beets into the food processor with 1/4 cup (clear) water, and process until pureed.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Oil or spray your cooking pan(s).
- Put the pureed beets into a 2-cup measure. Add enough apple sauce to reach the 2-cup line. Add the 2 tablespoons water, vanilla extract, and apple cider to the beets and mix well.
- Mix the dry ingredients together; then add the beet mixture and stir until well-combined. Bake for 35-60 minutes, depending on the size of pan you use: more for small, deep pans and less for a 9X13 pan. (I used a 9X13 pan, and it took 35 minutes.) Test by inserting a toothpick into the center; it’s done when the toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.
Banana-Peanut Butter Sauce:
1/2 of a 12-ounce package lite, firm silken tofu
2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
1/4-1/3 cup agave nectar, to taste
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. The sauce will thicken in the fridge, so it’s best to give it time to chill if you plan to sandwich it between layers of cake. (Just for fun, the next time I make this, I’ll add a couple of drops of the beet juice to it to give it a slightly pink color.) Serve over cake.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s) | Cooking time: 55 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
1/8 of cake alone (no topping): 212 calories, 5% calories from fat, 1 gram fat, 471mg sodium, 209mg potassium 50g carbohydrates, 4.5g fiber, 4g protein.
Banana-Peanut Butter Sauce adds the following, per serving: 91 calories, 2.5 g fat, 63mg sodium, 115mg potassium, 13g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 6g protein.
This was such a hit that this morning as I was packing her lunch, E. said to me, “Mom, put some of that beet cake in. I want to eat my veggies!”