The first time I made this beet chocolate cake, my family was skeptical. However, when it came out of the oven, the first loaf disappeared within 20 minutes (I timed it). You can almost persuade yourself that it’s healthy.
This may be the original Red Velvet cake; you can still find recipes that call for beet juice, partly for the color, and partly for the natural sweetening. The beets not only make the cake a pretty color, but they make for a moist and tender crumb.
If you’re starting with raw beets, you’ll need to cook them first. I prefer to roast mine: rub each beet with a bit of oil, wrap them in aluminum foil, and roast in a hot oven for 45-60 minutes, until they are tender. Let cool slightly, then remove the outer skin, and then mash the beets (or whiz them in a food processor). For this recipe, you want the beets to have a porridge-like consistency.
I make this beet chocolate cake in 2 loaf pans, and serve them as un-iced tea cakes. The lack of frosting has never been a problem for my family; they demolish the loaves every time. If you have a loaf to keep, it will last, wrapped in waxed paper, for 3-4 days at room temperature, or you can freeze the cake for months.
Beet Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) divided
- 1 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 2 cups mashed or puréed cooked beets at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Grease and flour 2 standard loaf pans. Preheat oven to 375˚ F.
- Melt the chocolate with the 1/4 c of the butter, stir well until smooth. Let this mixture cool slightly.
- Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt - in a medium bowl, and stir this mixture well to combine it. You could sift it together if you prefer.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, cream 3/4 butter and the brown sugar until lighter in color and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Add the cooled chocolate mixture, cooked mashed beets, and vanilla into the egg/sugar mixture - it will appear curdled, don't worry. Now stir in the flour mixture, and mix thoroughly but lightly - do not overbeat.
- Pour this batter into the prepared loaf pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the sides begin to pull away from the pan, and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool the loaves in their pans on a rack for at least 10 minutes, before removing to finish cooling on the rack.