Sunday Recipe: “Secret” Chocolate Cake

(Chocolate Beet Cake, which sounds awful but TASTES delicious; see here. Don’t tell anyone what’s in it until they’ve tasted it. Oh, also, beets are ridiculously easy to grow. So grow some!)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Generously butter a 9″x12″ baking dish.

Then, puree in food processor until very smooth:

2 cups cooked, peeled beets*

1/2 cup applesauce

In a large bowl, beat for 2 minutes with electric mixer (or a wooden spoon and lots o’ elbow grease):

1 and 1/4 c. sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sour cream

3 eggs

pour in beet-apple mixture along with:

1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa

1 TB pure vanilla extract

In another bowl, sift together:

2 and 1/2 cups flour

1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

Stir dry ingredients into wet, stir ONLY until blended (the more you stir a non-yeasted batter, the tougher the resulting cake/muffin/whatever will be.) Pour immediately into prepared dish and bake about 50 minutes, or until top springs back and a knife inserted in the center comes clean.

Serve in bowls with freshly whipped, lightly sweetened cream laced with just a bit of vanilla.

Enjoy!

 

Beets! Beets! Beets!

We’ve been a little serious around here what with two days of posts (here and here) on body image stuff, so I think it’s time for something more fun.

Like cake.

I don’t make desserts for every day meals. And I generally don’t bake cakes in the summertime. But you know? Some days, you just feel like having some cake.

On this day, I was harvesting beets to make room for the very enthusiastically reproducing strawberry plants. My son and husband were helping me:

{he's not faking that enthusiasm for the beet, either.}

{my dear husband, the real gardener in the relationship}

So, earlier in the summer, I’d pulled a few beets and grated them, raw, into lettuce salads, where they mingled beautifully with the vinaigrette and brought some lively color and flavor to our (seemingly) endless bowls of leafy greens. You can make a beet salad that’s mostly just, well, beets, but I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

I spent several hours with the beets, boiling them, slipping their skins off cutting them up to put in the freezer, and when I was done, my fingers were stained brownish and I was tired of looking at beets qua beets, so I did something really fun:

I pureed them in the food processor with some applesauce, added sugar, sour cream, some eggs, some vanilla, some flour, some cocoa powder, and some baking soda and made the most beautiful red-tinted cake batter–

And that, of course, turned into this: And we’re back to where we started.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, beets are good for you, blah, blah, blah, antioxidants and phytochemicals and fiber AND–THEY TASTE AMAZING IN CHOCOLATE CAKE, which is the best part:

“Food is the daily sacrament of unnecessary goodness, ordained for a continual remembrance that the world will always be more delicious than it is useful.” (Robert Farrar Capon)

{Hoping YOUR day has some unnecessary goodness in it, too!}