Some lovely friends of ours recently shared their harvest of beets with us. I really enjoy beets, and was thrilled by their generosity! That week, I made a beet and berry smoothie for lunch. After tasting the smoothie, I admitted to myself that I had used too many beets, but served it up anyway. My mistake. My kids immediately identified there was an overpowering flavor and were not fans. In a moment of sheer stubbornness and pride, I turned the smoothie into a battle; it wasn't really that bad and they had to finish the smoothie. There was minor (excessive) complaining. Eventually all the smoothie was consumed, but my kids walked away vowing never to enjoy a beet again.
I told them they would, and thus became the question before every meal for several days: "Did you put beets in this?"
Then this Chocolate Beet Cake happened. I read through several recipes and came up with this combination. It worked. It's moist and lightly sweet. I didn't mention the beet part until my kids had taken a bite. We all agreed that you can definitely taste the beets in the cake, but paired with everything else, they were actually enjoyable. Success.
1 cup whole wheat white flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup beet puree*
3/4 cup warm water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla
*I put the equivalent of 3 large cooked and peeled beets in the vitamix. I measure out the 3/4 cup warm water and then added enough to the beets until they were able to blend into a smooth puree. It ended up being about 1/3 cup water and then the rest went into the bowl with the puree.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flours, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in beet puree, eggs, water, oil, apple sauce, and vanilla.
Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn cake out onto a serving platter and let cool completely. Serve with a dollop of whipping cream for a little treat!