Oh, and guess what? I got a brand-new stove! I got home the other day, and there it was. So far, so good. The temperature is spot-on, and it goes up to 500℉, which is 100℉ hotter than my old oven, and means I can make great pizza and bread again. In fact, I've already made pizza, but I ate it all up, alongside some celery soup, which is my new favourite soup. My old oven was probably donated to a museum, or maybe you can see one just like it on an old episode of Happy Days. I'm hoping the new stove shakes me out of my blog ennui. I just don't feel like making much these days, and can never find the time to take pictures or write about what I make. Work has been busy and daylight is hard to find. Also, puddingy things are not the most photogenic desserts, at least not in my hands.
Anyway, I went looking for a beet cake recipe online, and found a few, but none of them were quite right. One used 2½ cups of oil for 2-9" layers, which seemed like an awful lot. Another one used chocolate, which I didn't have on hand (it's also in Portuguese, but that's not a big problem: I speak food rather well). The third one used just a little chocolate and spice, so that wasn't it either. Still another one used raw beets, but I had already roasted mine, and had no intention of buying more. So, slightly disappointed that I didn't have a Goldilocks moment, I decided to wing it. That's not as hard as you might think, especially if you understand the interactions between ingredients and what purpose they serve in a baked good. Some folks, especially non-bakers, think of baking as chemistry, where everything has to be just so for it to work. That's just not true! You may not get a prize-winner on your first try, but something made with lots of butter, sugar, eggs and flour will only rarely be a total fail. Here's how I went about developing this recipe:
- I wanted to use oil, as in a carrot cake, for moistness. I also didn't think the taste of butter would come through with all the cocoa and the beets. Oh, and I had bought 2.5 litres for the doughnut challenge
- I had no chocolate, only cocoa
- I was having trouble getting a fine enough puree of beets on their own, so I knew I needed to add something else to the food processor. Buttermilk and cocoa make a great cake, so I went with that. And I had found a litre of it in the back of the fridge. Expiry date today!
- I like brown sugar in chocolate cakes, so I used it
- Buttermilk and brown sugar are acidic, meaning that baking soda would be a good addition. I also added baking powder. Think of it as leavening insurance
- Usually when I make up recipes I don't measure anything, but I did this time. I used my scale because it was easier to see the proportions of ingredients. Sorry, no cup measurements this time!
|Go ahead, pile on the whipped cream! You're having beets for dessert.|
Chocolate Beet Cake (Updated, based on my friend Judy's results and my 3rd remake)
200 grams all-purpose flour
75 grams Dutch-process cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
200 grams brown or white sugar
200 grams cooked beet
½ cup water
100 grams buttermilk (or yogurt, or sour cream)
150 grams oil
- Preheat oven to 350℉/180℃. Grease a 10” pan and line with parchment.
- Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Puree beets and buttermilk until smooth. Add eggs, brown sugar, cocoa mixture and oil and combine well. (I just put all this in the food processor and liquified it)
- Pour over dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Do not overmix.
- Scrape into pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. (May take longer)
- Cool in pan on rack, then turn out of pan. Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.
The verdict? Well, the top was very cracked, but it was very moist, chocolaty and fudgy. It doesn't taste of beets at all. I found it perfect with whipped cream and a cup of coffee.
|This is the first one I made, back in October. It had more cocoa, no water, |
less oil and a fussier preparation. It looks much the same as version 2 though.