Monday, July 11, 2011

Chocolate Beet Cake

For Ivory's first birthday I made her carrot cake and lemon zucchini cake cup cakes with cream cheese icing. She tried one bite, and decided she would not have any. Instead she shoved handfuls of watermelon into her mouth, dripping and sticky, but immensely happy.

On her second birthday, we had carrot cake with cream cheese icing. It was much better received this time. 

By her third birthday I had discovered a wonderfully rich and moist chocolate beet cake. She proudly told everyone who would bend down to listen: “I had a vegetable cake for my birthday!”, which was followed by confused looks in my direction... and my subsequent interpretation of Ivory's statement.
I came across the recipe while perusing the pages of a tiny little cook book that was given to my husband as he commenced his year as a VISTA at Missoula Urban Demonstration Project (MUD). The cook book is the 2006 edition of Eat Local, Feel Noble! compiled by Lauren Caldwell as a part of the University of Montana Farm to College Program (I have no idea if there were any additional editions).
Not everyone shares my enthusiasm for beets, especially in my household. My husband usually wrinkles his nose when a new beet dish graces our dinner table (although he usually reluctantly admits that the dish really “wasn't that bad”, which I think is his way of maintaining the illusion that he dislikes beets), and Ivory, well the best part of the beet for her is that it turns her teeth and tongue bright red.
While this might be cheating a bit when it comes to including beets in your menu, it is a wonderfully sneaky way to add a vegetable that might otherwise not be well received. There have been no complaints from either my husband or daughter in regard to this cake, so, here is the recipe:

Chocolate Beet Cake

By: Ari LeVaux
Total Cooking Time: 1 hour
Preheat oven: 350°

2 cups Flour
1tsp Baking Soda
1tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1c brown sugar
¾ cup half and half
1 cup mayo
2 cups shredded beets

  • peel two large beets, grate, measure two cups and boil for ten minutes in 1 cup water until tender and drain
  • while the beets are cooking, combine ingredients in the order listed. Mix the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients.
  • Bake in a greased 9”x13” pan for ½ hour (or until a knife comes out clean).

I like this cake with cream cheese icing, but it simply serving it with sweetened whipped cream (add a little vanilla) is also a wonderful option.

Next year, Ivory's fourth birthday, I think I will have to try the Lemon Zucchini cake again. After that, I am all out of vegetable cake ideas.  

1 comment:

  1. Definitely no complaints from me! I thought it was delicious!