Wednesday, June 20

June DOTM: Rich Chocolate Beet Cake

Ah, a sweet treat for this month’s Dish of the Month. I was intrigued by the idea of making a beetroot chocolate cake as the idea sounded instinctively off-putting and at the same time, deliciously intriguing. I looked around for beetroot chocolate cake recipes and eventually found Anna Olsen’s recipe that promised a fudgy treat.

You can find the recipe on Food Network, but shockingly enough, it has abysmal ratings on that site. Undeterred, I decided to try it out. People in Canada have no love for fudgey chocolate cakes (kidding!).

I’ve tried cakes made with beetroot before, and wasn’t impressed or taken with the lack of flavour. For this reason, I absolutely love Anna Olsen’s Rich Chocolate Beet Cake. Anna’s cake is drop-to-your-knees indulgent - this is definitely not for those who like light airy spongey cakes. A heavyweight on a scale of 1 to Rich. Decadence is thy name and you will be sorry to cross it if you lack the will to take it strong.

I love how easy to make this cake, even Russell got in on the action. One thing to note, I realised my oven is warmer than usual, so I baked this at 170 degrees celsius.

Instead of the chocolate buttercream, I made a vanilla buttercream instead (purely for aesthetics’ purposes HAHA). To be honest, I have never really successfully made vanilla buttercream and I realised the key to a delicious buttercream is patience. My Achilles’ heel.

Here are the recipes, adapted from Anna Olsen and Kitchen Simplicity.

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces 
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup finely grated cooked beets (I used packaged baby beets)
  • 1 ¼ cup hot water
  • Toppings of your choice

Chocolate Beet Cake
  1.  Puree beets in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease one 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper and dust the sides with flour, tapping out any excess.
  3. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter has been worked into the flour (it will seem dry and crumbly).
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix in slightly, then mix in the beets. Add the hot water while mixing on low speed, then increase the speed to medium high and continue to mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until the batter is thick and fluffy.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spread to level the batter and tap the pan on the counter to knock out any large air pockets.
  6. Bake the cake for about 45-50 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans for 30 minutes then turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour and up to 4 days. 
  8. Make the buttercream and decorate the cake the way you like it. 
Vanilla buttercream
  • 1 cup (227g) of softened butter 
  •  2 cups icing sugar 
  •  2 tbsp milk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Beat the softened butter for 6 minutes. 
  2.  Add the rest of the ingredients and beat for another 6 minutes.

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