We typically like our beets far, far away from our chocolate, but the two form a delicious combination in this Beet Chocolate Cake.
- 8 ounces fresh beets
- 7 ounces fine dark chocolate (70%)
- 1/4 cup hot espresso
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
- 5 eggs
- Scant 1 cup superfine sugar
- Crème fraîche and poppy seeds, to serve
- Lightly spread butter over an 8-inch springform cake pan and line base using a round of baking parchment. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook beets, whole and unpeeled, in some boiling unsalted water. They should become tender in 30 to 40 minutes. Drain, then allow to cool under running water. Next, peel them, then slice off their stems and roots, and process them in a blender until they become a coarse purée.
- Melt chocolate in a small bowl over a pot of simmering water and don’t stir.
- Once chocolate is just about melted, pour hot espresso over it and stir it once. Cut butter into small pieces and add them to the melted chocolate. Push butter down under surface of chocolate with a spoon and leave it to soften.
- Sift together flour, the baking powder and the cocoa. Separate eggs, putting whites inside a large mixing bowl. Stir yolks together.
- Work quickly but gently to remove bowl of chocolate from heat and stir until butter has melted into chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes, then stir in egg yolks. Mix firmly and quickly and evenly so eggs blend into mixture. Fold in beets. Whisk egg whites until they are stiff, then fold in sugar. Being firm but gentle, fold beaten egg whites and the sugar into your chocolate mixture. Use a large metal spoon work in a deep, figure-eight movement but don’t over-mix. Next, fold in flour and cocoa.
- Transfer the mixture to prepared cake pan and put it in the oven, decreasing the heat to 325 degrees F. Bake it for about 40 minutes. The rim of the cake will feel spongy, though the inner part should wobble a bit when gently shaken. Test using a cake tester or a toothpick too — if still gooey in center, continue baking until moist crumbs cling to tester.
- Set cake aside to cool, loosening around edges using a thin icing spatula after about half an hour or so. Don’t remove the cake from the pan until it is cooled completely. Serve it in thick slices, with the crème fraîche and the poppy seeds.
Photo: Food Gawker