It’s alright, I know what you’re thinking… here she goes again with another crazy cake recipe. As if the Earl Grey Honey Whiskey Cake wasn’t enough to knock your socks off, try giving this a whirl: Chocolate Beet Loaf Cake made from the latest and greatest Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook by Rick & Michael Mast. You know, you’ve seen these guys with their beautifully wrapped bars of American craft chocolate in fancy boutique stores. They came out with a COOKBOOK. Full of CHOCOLATE RECIPES (and gorgeous chocolate photography). I know, right? What are you waiting for?!
This was the first of many recipes to catch my eye upon first opening the book. I’ve always wanted to bake with beets, especially since they are one of my top favorite vegetables ever. They’re a good alternative to red food coloring in baked goods (ie. red velvet cake!) so you don’t have to use the entire bottle just for a hint of red. The beets add a subtle amount of richness, texture and moisture to whatever it is you’re baking, particularly when baking with flour. Trust me on this, it’s pretty spectacular.
I really enjoyed this recipe except that the amount of beets (5 medium) wasn’t all that specific. I wish they would have measured the amount of pureed beet before adding it in, as I thought my particular loaf was just a hair too “beaty”. I even reduced the amount to using 3 somewhat larger beets, and had a little puree left over. Other than that, this reminds me of my favorite chocolate espresso loaf cake that I pick up at Crema down the street every now and then. Same moistness and texture, I almost couldn’t believe it. High-end bakery status, yo. Also next time (speaking of espresso) I would probably add in a bit of ground coffee, just for a little extra flavor, and a few more ounces of chocolate, so I’m giving you my modified version with additional chocolate. This would be a perfect somewhat-healthier dessert as a Red Velvet Cake alternative for Valentine’s Day, topped with a little whipped cream and fresh berries. You can roast the beets ahead of time and keep them in the fridge (up to 3 days) before you puree them!
- 3 medium-to-large beets
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Wash and rinse the beets, wrap in foil, and roast in the oven for 1 hour on a rimmed baking pan.
- Peel the beets and puree in blender. Set aside ½ cup of puree for topping (optional).
- In a medium saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter with the chocolate over low-medium heat.
- In large bowl, cream the remaining stick of butter with brown sugar until fluffy.
- While whisking, add eggs one at a time to creamed butter mixture.
- Add beet puree to melted chocolate mixture.
- Combine both mixtures.
- Add flour, baking soda and salt.
- Pour batter into oiled 12" loaf pan, lined with parchment.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Top the cooled cake with the reserved beet puree if so inclined.