Chocolate Beet Cake

Beets are such an underrated, under-appreciated vegetable. They've often been the bane of our childhood existences when they're in pickled, boiled or borscht form. And, even as we learn to love beets again after roasting or grilling them and appreciating them in whole-food form, sometimes, they can still be lackluster. But not anymore.

I justify making chocolate beet cake because (1) it's an excellent way to integrate/disguise beets (especially from kids/beet haters, (2) I can write it off under the ironically named category of "healthful desserts" (3) it's easy to make, and, most important, it's delicious! Friends and family have asked for this recipe, so, anonymous followers - if you're out there - I'm sharing it with you. I first saw a recipe for this cake in "Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables" [an entertaining cookbook about Angelic Organics and how to utilize seasonal foods], but I've adapted it and made it my own.
Alex's Chocolate Beet Cake
4 oz. chocolate chips or baking chocolate
1 c. oil OR 1/2 c. oil/1/2 c. apple sauce OR 1/4 c. oil/3/4 c. apple sauce (your choice - more applesauce: cakier result; more oil: dense, rich result; I like using a mix of the two, especially when you can get/make homemade applesauce)
3 eggs - regular chicken eggs or flax eggs* (*1 egg = 1 Tbl ground flax eggs to 3 Tbl water; blend until thick + creamy)
1 3/4 c. unrefined sugar
1 Tbl. vanilla extract
1-2 large beets/3-4 medium beets, boiled + skins removed
2 c. spelt flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbl. baking cocoa (optional, although it adds a richness of flavor)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a 8"-10" pan (spring-form works great) or line a cupcake pan (will make 24 cupcakes).
- Melt chocolate over a double-boiler or in a microwave. Add 1/4 cup of oil, until well combined and the chocolate is glossy.
- Prepare your flax eggs in a food processor or blender. Add the beets + sugar until well blended. Add the reserved oil/applesauce, melted chocolate + vanilla until thoroughly blended. Pour into a large bowl.
- In a medium-sized bowl, sift/whisk the flour, baking powder, salt + baking cocoa, if using. Fold into the beet mixture until the dry and wet ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Pour batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 min.
Eat as-is, or serve with your favorite cream cheese or buttercream frosting, dusted with confectioner's sugar or a light fruit glaze or coulis. Any way you choose to make or eat this, you'll forget that you're eating beets!