every year starting in january, a new master gardener class begins. each week there is at least one class on a topic related to gardening. as a certified member, i am required to earn continuing education hours to maintain my certification; i attend as many of these classes as i can. more importantly, it is helpful to attend the classes in an effort to welcome the new members and hopefully, retain them once the classes are finished. i take that part seriously; i bribe them weekly with cake! this weeks offering was a rich and moist chocolate bundt that also contained a secret ingredient: beets.
while digging through the cupboards, i came across a can of beets that had been pushed to the very back. i ran the beets through the blender with the juice from the can to get an awesome red puree. for those of you who prefer to use fresh or your own canned beets, you will need 1 3/4 cups of puree with the consistency of buttermilk so be sure to add the liquid you boiled/canned them in as needed.
when folded into the batter, it doesn’t show-it disappears like magic. not only that, no one and i mean NO one was able to guess what was in the cake. then again, it was so chocolatey and moist, i doubt anyone was thinking it reminded them of beets. so why bother? the moisture for one and the added fiber too and then because i love hiding the vegetables in the cake…
all ready for the oven!
chocolate-beet bundt cake
adapted from straight from the farm
1 (12 cup) bundt serving 16
1 (15 oz) can beets
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder, natural preferred
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
powdered sugar for dusting the top of the cake
preheat the oven to 350. grease and flour a bundt or tube pan with a 12 cup capacity. drain the beets and reserve the juice. place the beets in a blender with some of the juice and blend briefly. add the remaining juice and blend until smooth, pour into a bowl and set aside. melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on the lowest power or defrost setting using 30 second intervals. stir until smooth and set aside.
in a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the dark brown sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy. pour in the melted chocolate and mix well. be sure to scrape the bowl at least once to completely combine the ingredients. add the eggs, 1 at a time and scrape the bowl as you go. to sift the dry ingredients, place the flour, cocoa, baking soda and spices in a large mesh strainer. sift them over the chocolate mixture. fold a few times, add the beets and fold until the batter is uniform in color.
scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a pick inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. sift powdered sugar over the top of the cooled cake.
bake one and send me a photo! may the power of the beet be with you…