The chocolate beetroot cake recipe, culled from last year's SSCA cookbook, is provided courtesy of Jennifer Thomas, owner of the Montford Walk-In Bakery. A fresh take on incorporating vegetables in patisserie, it gives the effect of a red-velvet cake, without the food coloring and with only a smattering of the sugar, as beets are naturally sweet. Thankfully, the final flavor is one of chocolate and not of beets, and a delicious moisture pervades, as in a carrot cake or a zucchini bread, which also makes creative use of vegetables at the dessert table.
3 1/2 ounces sweet ground chocolate (Ghirardelli cocoa and chocolate mixture)
8 ounces self-rising flour
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
7 ounces light brown sugar (not packed)
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (60 percent cocoa solids) chopped into small pieces
4 1/2 ounces butter (unsalted)
9 ounces beets, precooked and pureed in a food processor
3 large eggs, whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioner's sugar to dust
1 cup creme fraiche or whipped cream
Grated raw beet (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour an 8-inch cake tin or 10-12 small ramekins and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, sift flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the brown sugar.
In a double boiler, simmering gently, melt the chocolate pieces and butter and set aside to cool for a few minutes. In a small bowl, mix together the beet puree, whisked eggs and vanilla. In the medium mixing bowl, with the dry ingredients, add the melted chocolate/butter mixture and the beet/egg/vanilla mixture together and stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin or two-thirds of the way up each ramekin.
Bake the cake for about 40 minutes (or the ramekins about 20 minutes). A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes and then turn out on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature with a dusting of confectioner's sugar and a dollop of crème fraiche or whipped cream and optional grating of raw beet for color.
— Provided by Susi Séguret, Seasonal School of Culinary Arts: Cooking A Rainbow. Classes and books available at http://schoolofculinaryarts.org/8301.html