Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake

chocolate-beet cake

It’s interesting reading some of the talk regarding if the internet is ready to replace cookbooks. Sure, there are people furiously clicking around wherever they can for a chocolate cake recipe. And there are hundreds of thousands of chocolate cake recipes that you can find using a search engine. But to me, that’s not enough. When I want to spend my precious time and funds making something to eat, I don’t want to merely find a recipe. There’s nothing compelling about a downloadable list of ingredients. It just leaves me cold. I want the author or writer to tell me about the recipe, what inspired them to create it, or how it came about.

beets

I want to know why someone chose that recipe, what twists they gave it, what made the cake or casserole they were making so special to them that they wanted to share it. Was it an unusual ingredient? Did they like the description they read of it elsewhere? Were they inquisitive about how a root vegetable from their garden could make its way into a chocolate cake?

When I had dinner with my publisher last spring in San Francisco, we talked about cookbooks, of course. And as I start a new one, I’m curious to how I want to present the recipes. Everyone is searching for recipes online nowadays and the mere mention of a Parisian pastry on Twitter can set off a stream of recipe requests. (I often wonder if people really think someone can respond with a recipe for a complicated French cake in a 140 character tweet.)

beets

Perhaps the internet does make searching, and researching, easier, but it saddens me to see the large aggregator sites simply repositioning content all in the hopes of making a buck, just to create a profitable database. Although I write for a living, everyone I know who writes about food and recipes, from top-selling authors to people who work for small community-based publications, will invariably tell you that the main reason they work so hard to create recipes is because they really do want people to cook and bake from them.

beets chocolate-beet cake

Seeing how this blog has evolved into something more than I thought it would, with conversations running the comments, tips from people from all over the world, and being part of a vast network of other food blogs, which range from expats learning to negotiate the outdoor markets in Egypt to folks getting by in everyday American communities – I find the whole phenomenon interesting and enjoyable.

I read cookbooks and I read blogs (and write both), and the ones that catch my fancy nowadays are ones with an author’s voice in there. A story about something unusual – emotions, open and unguarded, are ingredients for the best writing. The most interesting dishes, the ones that make me want to pull out my mixing bowls, have a story behind them or offer a glimpse into another culture. They’re not a rote list of ingredients, oven temperatures, and cooking times.

chocolate-beet cake

After my dinner with, a few weeks later, a copy of Tender by Nigel Slater arrived in the mail. It was enormous and most importantly, it was exactly the kind of book that I’m talking about. And it a book that I wanted to spend some time in a comfortable chair with, savoring the recipes, the spontaneous, engaging, casual writing, and the gorgeous photos. I have an iPad, and possibly could have read it on that. But then I would have missed the thick, coarse paper, and the delicate lushness of the photographs would have gotten lost behind the shiny screen.

For me, this recipe popped forward as I turned the pages of this 580 page book, and I went with my intuition to make it. A moist, chocolate loaf cake smeared with thick crème fraîche and enlivened by the subtle crackle of poppy seeds. Count me in.

fresh beets chocolate-beet cake

I found the recipe not by scanning the Index looking for a recipe that sounded good. I started reading the book, Nigel Slater’s thoughts about gardening and the vegetables he’s raising behind his home, and that drew me into his world. Some of the gardening lore went over my head (my “garden” right now, in mid-winter, is a pot of dead mint on my roof) but he was writing about food and ingredients that he believed in, and the pictures were imperfect, real food, like the vegetables that come out of the ground of his garden.

chocolate-beet cake

What truly appealed to me most was Nigel Slater’s deep affection for his subject and his recipes, which was obvious in each and every word printed in the book. It’s intelligent and reflective, and makes me want to position myself on the sofa and continue to read through the pages, and the recipes. And perhaps give my rooftop garden another go in the spring. In the meantime, I’ll stick to making cake.


Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake
Eight to ten servings

Adapted from Tender by

I was attracted to this recipe because 1) I was intrigued but the words “moist chocolate”, and 2) It has beets in it. Because the author is British, superfine sugar (which is readily available there) is called for, which is called castor sugar. In France we have sucré semoule, but elsewhere you can simply whiz regular sugar in a food processor for about ten seconds until it’s fine.

I had a bunch of beets I was roasting so I used a couple of those, but for economy’s sake, you can boil the two beets or cook them as you prefer. You’ll need a scant 1 cup (250 g) of grated beet purée.

This cake is not overly sweet, which is good for those of you looking for more of a snack cake, rather than a towering, frosted dessert. Although the original recipe calls for chocolate that is 70% cacao solids, you can use one that is in the 50-60% range, depending on what’s available in your area. For those of you who can’t get crème fraîche, I suspect mascarpone would be interesting, or perhaps just sour cream. Or maybe just a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside


  • 8 ounces (240 g) beets, unpeeled, rinsed and scrubbed free of dirt
  • 7 ounces (200 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (70% cacao solids), chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) hot espresso (or water)
  • 7 ounces (200 g) butter, at room temperature, cubed
  • 1 cup (135 g) flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (the darkest you can find, natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) superfine sugar


1. Butter an 8- or 8 1/2 inch (20 cm) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. Boil the beets in salted water with the lid askew until they’re very tender when you stick a knife in them about 45 minutes. Drain then rinse the beets with cold water. When cool enough to handle, slip off the peels, cut the beets into chunks, and grind them in a food processor until you get a coarse, yet cohesive, puree. (If you don’t have a food processor, use a cheese grater.)

3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

In a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring as little as possible.

4. Once it’s nearly all melted, turn off the heat (but leave the bowl over the warm water), pour in the hot espresso and stir it once. Then add the butter. Press the butter pieces into the chocolate and allow them to soften without stirring.

5. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a separate bowl.

6. Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until the butter is melted. Let sit for a few minutes to cool, then stir the egg yolks together and briskly stir them into the melted chocolate mixture. Fold in the beets.

7. In a stand mixer, or by hand, whip the egg whites until stiff. Gradually fold the sugar into the whipped egg whites with a spatula, then fold them into the melted chocolate mixture, being careful not to overmix.

8. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.

9. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and reduce the heat of the oven to 325ºF (160ºC), and bake the cake for , or until the sides are just set but the center is still is just a bit wobbly. Do not overbake.

Let cake cool completely, then remove it from the pan.


Serving and storage: This cake tastes better the second day; spread with crème fraîche and sprinkle with poppy seeds shortly before serving. Or serve them alongside.


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Chocolate Idiot Cake

Chocolate FAQs

Cocoa Powder FAQs

161 comments

  • I had read somewhere that beets were the best for coloring a red velvet cake. I don’t do Red Velvet because I think it’s just a fad. And it uses too much food coloring. If you have to use 5 or more Tbsps. of red coloring for one cake,…that’s just wrong.
    I adore beets. If my green salad doesn’t have beets and croutons, I quickly lose interest in eating it. And I worked with an English woman who, every day, brought a sack lunch with a beet sandwich using buttered white bread. She said it was her favorite thing to eat. Yes, I will definitely give this recipe a go.
    As one who reads a lot and likes to collect useful books and cookbooks, I can’t envision a world without books. And yes, I’m one of those dinosaurs who write letters sometimes 30 pages long for bed bound friends who adore them because they say they live vicariously through my letters. I am a writer, and a published poet, and a professional artist, and I have a food blog because I love to share food. While the internet, as you say, is good for looking things up, it won’t replace books. You can’t rely on your computer to always get online, and my internet drops away for hours at a stretch, three times per day, due to where I live. But your books are at your fingertips any time you need them (at home), like a ready companion with inspiring photos.

    • I was actually going to make a red velvet cake a while back, and stopped when I saw how much red food coloring goes into it. It is an awful lot and while a little is probably okay to consume, dumping in a whole bottle just didn’t seem right to me either. This cake is really good just as it is, and it’s kind of red…and I don’t feel guilty about eating it! : )

  • I keep Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries by my bed because I love reading it so much – the year it came out I got if for Christmas and I started reading along with the days, his recipes are amazing!

  • David, I am totally with you with respect to the simple joy of some paper copies of cookbooks. The luxury of the weight, the love in the greasy fingerprints near your favourite selections, the ability to not worry so much about a kitchen-related catastrophe killing your source in the middle of holiday baking.

    I do have a question though: what fat substitute would you recommend to make the cake lactose free? There will always be some differences, but would shortening, margarine or oil best simulate the best features of the original?

    • I’m not a huge fan of vegetable shortening but you might want to try a natural brand of margarine (some health food stores carry those that aren’t filled with dubious ingredients) – and some people use coconut oil, which is also available in natural food stores. Depending on your situation, some butters are cultured, which may break down the lactose, but that’s something that I’m not that familiar with – although you might want to do some research about that. (Also goat milk butters are considered by some to be more digestible, too.) Another option is prune puree (or baby food!) which can substitute for butter in some instances.

  • Vegetables in chocolate cake, what a win-win situation!

  • Thanks for another good post David. I’ve recently baked chocolate-pumpkin cakes that were wonderful, but this is the first recipe I’ve seen with beets. My husband hates beets and I love them. If I could disguise beets in chocolate cake, I’ll bet he’d eat them! I think there is a place and a need for both electronic recipes and cookbooks. I love my cookbooks. Can’t see them ever going away. I may turn to the web for fast research, but my favorite cookbooks (including yours) are written in, filled with sticky note and little splashes of cooking. Like many, I read them like novels!

  • I agree with your comments on searching for a recipe. I find that when I do use the internet to find inspiration, I go to my favorite blogs, like yours, smitten kitchen, or orangette. Then I get to read the story about the recipe which is part of the process for me. And like you I love the feel of a book – whether it is my mom’s 1960’s Joy of Cooking complete with stains and pressed leaves inside, or a big coffee table book filled with inspirational photos. I’ll never want to let go of the tactile feel of slowly perusing a cookbook and all it’s possibilities…

  • Ah the internet is such a great database for recipes but nothing beats the physical touch of a page and being able to scribble notes along the page!

  • Couldn’t agree more. With a collection of over 1500 cookbooks I often amaze myself by knowing exactly which recipe came from which book! I do like to surf the blogs and have recently started writing one myself – bot give up books? Never.

  • Nigel Slater is one of my favourite TV chefs – nothing fancy just good food with good ingredients (and if you have never seen his back garden it is tiny but he grows so much in pots), using up leftovers etc. Recent series was all about contrasts – sweet/sour, hot/cold etc.

    I seem to have a memory of Oprah advocating the use of beets in food to cut down on the fat but that was mostly in meat dishes like burgers!

    And I don’t have a reader as I much prefer real books – both cookery and reading!

  • In the end, a cookery book is just a book like any other, and you want to read something you can relate to on it. I am losing myself in Elisabeth David these days, she’s such a gifter writer. I prefer inspiring cookbooks with that extra personal touch (the reason why I love browsing blogs for inspiration) – so I’m very excited about the new book you are writing.

    On the other hand though there is also another audience for cookbooks – people who really need techniques and reliable recipes all in one place. We all know too well that all those millions of recipes on the internet are just too noisy to be easy to approach. I am quite happy to have a few basics that don’t have much character, sure, but are failproof and sound references.

  • Hi David,

    Im a resident of sharjah and am so glad that uv visited this place. i just read it in ur post. im a big chocoholic and came across this post. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/02/the-chocolate-cake-recipe-i-foun/comment-page-1/#comments

    could u plz translate the recipe to english coz i dont understand the language at all. There r many comments asking u to translate it. some of the readers have done it but it is very confusing for me. im used to ur clarity of writing recipes. is there any particular reason u havnt done it yet.il really really apprecitae the translation

    Thanx n Regards,

    NAila

  • David, I have to share a fun family story with you. In the 60’s my aunt in TX mailed my mother in KS a slice of Waldorf Astoria Cake (the original red velvet). With 5 ankle-biters surrounding her, my mother told us that it was Beet Cake, which immediately made the cake uninteresting to us. She got to enjoy it by herself. The recipe (with two whole bottles of food coloring) became a family favorite & because my birthday is in December, she made it for me every year until she passed away, though the red dye formula & amount changed. So I laughed to see an actual Beet Cake on your blog. Miss you, Mom.

  • Talking of books you might try David Thompson’s Thai Food which meets your criteria I believe.

  • I absolutely agree about cookbooks. I’ve found that I’m often drawn to particular authors and chefs more so than specific recipes. I think that’s because of what you said; you become drawn to the voice just as much as to the recipe. Love the blog!

  • Bonjour, David – I enjoy this blog so much and thank you for it. I have a question about folding the sugar into the egg whites rather then adding it slowly to make a more stable meringue – is there a textural difference? I just seems to me that the meringue gives more loft to cake crumb. Thanks again!

    I responded to that one in a previous comment; scroll up to find it. -dl

  • I’m glad you delved into the cookbook vs internet subject. Personally if I can’t find a recipe in my cookbooks I will search the internet. However I’ve stopped using just any recipes, I will only use internet recipes from proven sources (your website being one of those proven sources). You could say I’ve gotten burned too many times in the past with poorly written recipes that have 5 star reviews, but who knows that could just be me.
    Cookbooks can offer so much more than just recipes! I love a well photographed cookbook. Tartine by Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Pruiett is one of my favorites, it’s a masterpiece, and I have your website to thank for that. I also think Ready For Dessert is beautiful too. Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless is very simple but gives you a rustic feel just by the simple illustrations and borders. And of course Anthony Bourdains’ Les Halles Cookbook is full of his smug sardonic comments. These are the things you don’t glean from internet recipes.

    Matt

    • I think a lot of the popularity of blogs comes from “proven sources” and even though many are cooking/baking from established cookbooks, when someone talks about the process of making the recipe and shows the results, you know that it works. That said, many bloggers are cooking from published cookbooks (and glad you like mine!) which is great, which is why it’s important to have regular cookbooks in print and in our collections. I certainly do!

  • I have to admit that my jaw dropped when I saw this post….in a good way! I love, love beets but never thought of them as being part of desert. Yummy! I will have to try this. Love it! :) :) Thank you for sharing this!
    I may have to get one of Nigel’s cookbooks soon since I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.

  • I am so attracted to this cake, loving beets, and wanting to have a recipe like this for some time. I agree that it’s about the story, not just the recipe. Just today, I got lost in a blog post in a good way, because I wanted to portray the heart of the cookbook author, who gave Pennsylvania Dutch cooking some fame, Betty Groff. She cooked because she loved people. I’m so interested in what goes on around and behind the food and in the passion of the person writing about it.

  • What a wonderful post. The blogs are make my daily reading are the ones that don’t just post a recipe, but as you say, allow me into their lives. Thank you for doing such a marvelous job of that.

    Can you explain the reason why the chocolate needs to be stirred minimally when melting it, when adding the espresso and when adding the butter?

    Thank you for sharing and teaching.

    • I don’t know why he advises that because I generally melt butter and chocolate together. But his writing was so vivid and personal, that I wanted to follow along how he did it.

  • DL, Nigel should thank you for selling loads of his books … maybe he should blog about you? He owes …

    I recently pickled beets but woah too much cardamom and cloves – maybe I’ll blend them up and make a spicey chocolate cake. That could be a twist on the recipe.

    Inklings “Pro Chef” ipad add became the third highest-grossing iPad app on Apple’s App Store, That’s compared to all iPad apps worldwide. With so many book lovers, I cant figure out why this sells?

    -Bobster

    • I haven’t seen that app but it’s likely the highest-grossing for two reasons: One is because it looks really good, and two, because it’s $49,99. It’s likely a very good use of the app technology along with solid cooking material, which is something that an app can do that isn’t always possible in a printed cookbook. That’s why I think there’s room for both – some books work well on tablet devices and others are better on paper. Good thing so many books are now available in both formats!

  • I couldn’t agree with you more. I read cookbooks as though they’re mystery novels. Every recipe and every introductory blurb — they’re all part of setting the scene. I love the photographs and the feel of the paper. Most of all, I love my cookbooks best when they’re splattered and dog eared from years of use. You just can’t get that from a search engine.

  • Hi David,

    It must be kismet, because I just cooked up a batch of beets when I sat down to read your blog. So I made the Beet Cake last night and it was an instant hit with my family. I used a combination of detroit red, golden and choggias from my garden (the last of the season). Perfect! And I love my cookbooks. I write comments, make amendments to recipes, and leave fingerprints in my books (and I know you can make notes on a kobo/kindle/ipad/etc..) But a handwritten comment is not the same as a typed note on an electronic device…and a book will not crash, and will not need charging. I am not a Luddite; there is a place for both in the world (I really, really like my ipad…)

    • Interesting, last fall there was a server problem with my site and went down (too) frequently during a 3 week period, and people were writing to me, irate, that they couldn’t get a recipe they were looking for. (All sites go down, even big ones like Facebook and Ebay have gone down.) Books don’t go down.

  • I believe that the internet and cookbooks both play in important role in cooking. I like the relative ease and speed of using the internet to find a recipe, especially when I’m running low on time. However, I just purchased three cookbooks the other day, because I love the feel of holding a cookbook in my hands and taking my time browsing through one. I love the pictures and reading the descriptions. It’s fun and exciting to be able to turn a page and see what recipe is waiting on the next one. In short, I’m glad for the existence of food blogs and websites, but I’ll always be on the lookout for cookbooks to purchase as well.

  • I’ve moved almost exclusively to e-books for fiction recently (lack of space in bookcases and weight of books while travelling being the reasons) but have been buying far more hard copy recipe books than I used to. This is mostly because I see books referred to on cooking blogs, and I can then go immediately and buy them at Book Depository before I forget what they’re called. My cook book collection has changed considerably in character, with far more books on theory (Cooking for Geeks, Harold McGee etc) and specialist books (Cheesemaking, Charcuterie, Bread etc) than the random collections of recipes I used to pick up on sale tables. I still surf the net looking for specific recipes, often starting at Wikipedia. I tend to find as many recipes as I can, and use my judgement to decide which one/ones sound as though they are most authentic; when I’m looking for a recipe it’s usually because the food is something I’ve read about in a book and I want to see what it’s supposed to taste like, not what one chef’s version of it is like. I read many many recipes for red velvet cake before I came to the conclusion that red food colouring really was an original ingredient and not some modern shortcut – shortly followed by the conclusion that I really didn’t want to make a red chocolate cake. Beet cake, on the other hand, sounds delicious. Similar to chocolate zucchini cake, I would imagine.

  • I just received ‘India’ by Pushpesh Pant (great name!!). It came wrapped in a retro indian printed linen bag, lovely! Phaidon books are real collectors items, and I’m working on a full set :))

  • Keep your new book personal. I read a lot of cookbooks and more than anything enjoy the stories about mothers, grandmothers, successes, failures, process, etc. A compilation of recipes is something the internet really can replace. A personal journey is what makes it interesting.

  • Tried this today. All I can say is this is one of the best chocolate recipes I have tried. Love your blog !

  • David… your thoughts on cookbooks becoming obsolete prompted this blog post from me.
    http://www.salvationsisters.com/2011/11/recipe-boxes-cookbooks-and-lindas.html

    The Salvation Sisters love your blog!

  • Could not agree more that a naked recipe (even with a photo) on the Internet doesn’t do it for me. I want to hear something about the dish from the cook. And I like the context provided by a whole set of recipes from one author thoughtfully gathered together and presented as a BOOK (with chapter intros and recipe headnotes). Hopefully for those of us who create them, enough others feel as we do that cookbooks in some form will survive.

  • What an amazing recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it.

  • By the way. Nobody should preheat their oven and then go boil beets for 45 minutes and then spend 20 mins prep time. This is simply a waste of energy – gas or electric. I preheat 10-20mins before I think is going to go in. Let be greener. Great blog.

    You’re right. Am not sure why that was suggested, but I did change it. Thanks! – dl

  • I have been making this cake every fall when my beets are ready. so happy to hold his book and make it a part of my life. there are birthdays, surprises and successful gardening seasons now attached to its pages…

  • I just wanted to take the time to say thank you for your inspiring story.

    Being the owner of a recipe website, I too very much dislike just putting up yet another set of ingredients with an image or two and fill the rest in with advertising – Yuk!

    I believe that God gave me imagination, creative ability, desire and wisdom as well as a whole lot of other good things (like ingredients, lol) to be able to share these recipes with everyone around the world.

    Your story inspires me to sit back and learn from what you have written and then apply them to my website. I’m confident that I will have a whole bunch of people coming to my site just because of the way it’s going to be written from here on. Oh, and also because it’s about chocolate recipes.

    Thanks again.

  • I made this and loved it! I used 150 gr butter and only 90 gr sugar and it was just right for my taste. Since they don’t sell creme fraiche in Estonia I followed your suggestion to serve with mascarpone/whipped cream and alltogether it was a beautiful dessert!
    Nigel Slater’s website provides a significantly different recipe for the same cake, I wonder if it could taste even better.

  • I baked the cake today, and oh my it is very moist!

    Thank you for providing easy-to-follow instructions…because when you break it down there are a lot of steps. I was a bit skeptical with step 4, I was envisioning a lumpy and seized mess but it turned out great! Especially after adding the egg yolks, it was so smooth and glossy, was tempted to eat it as is.

  • I am in this mood of bringing some nutritional value to combos like butter/ sugar/ flour and I am amazed about the variety of vegetables, fruits, flours we can use and sweeteners that may substitute the ordinary white sugar. They bring not only nutritional values but new flavors and textures we have been missing.
    Beetroot combines wonderfully with brown sugar since it pairs the earthy flavor they both have. Spices do it well too.
    Unfortunately the red color from the beet turn into brown during cooking due to a chemical reaction among the ingredients of a cake. No velvets so far.

  • I was just reviewing the oct/nov fine cooking in prep for the thanksgiving feast. Then I got side track to this site. I came across this recipe for beet chocolate cake, it rang a bell. The afore mentioned fine cooking mag also has a beet chocolate cake recipe. When I can stand to eat again post thanksgiving, I will do a comparison of these 2 recipes.

  • If you can’t find creme fraiche (or you just don’t want to spend the ridiculous amount of money that a tiny container of it usually costs) you can just pour a pint of heavy cream into a jar, add a good spoonful or so of buttermilk, and let it sit, covered loosely with a clean towel, on your countertop overnight. The next morning, when it’s slightly thickened, it’s done, and you can toss it in the fridge. (And you can freeze the rest of the buttermilk in an ice cube tray or small containers, to use later in whatever recipes you have that call for it — as long as you’re going to cook with it and not drink it, thawed frozen buttermilk works just fine.)

  • I’m not sure if this happened to anyone else, but I had too much batter for an 8 inch springform pan. It overflowed while baking :(. I should have followed my instincts and used the larger 9 inch but didn’t. Just a word to the wise.

  • For those within range of a Trader Joe’s, they sell 8 oz. packages of steamed and peeled baby beets; just the right amount for this recipe. Added bonus: they’re labeled “Product of France”.

  • I enjoyed this post greatly and look forward to learning some writing tips from your blog.

  • Tender is on my Christmas wish list :). Glad to hear that you’re writing another book as well, I’ve used your first one quite a bit.

    Kim: I tried to answer your previous question about my book via e-mail but it was returned as undeliverable. Can you let me know which book is was? thanks – dl

  • I was a bit hesitant at first…I followed all the directions but freestyled a few of the ingredients; the amount of beets and the type of chocolate. The batter was probably the most awful thing in the world BUT! the finished product was unreal. I have never liked a chocolate cake as much as this one, super moist and not too sweet! I doubled the recipe and ended up with a full cake and 2 dozen cupcakes. I think this might be my new go to dessert!

  • thankxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • The cake turned out great! Thanks for the recipe! :))

    Rachel: I had too much batter for an 8 inch pan too so I used 9 inch instead. But I thought it happened because I whipped the egg whites with the sugar, not just folded it in, so they did not deflate as much while mixing with the batter.

  • It is 6 cm high. The 9-inch pan was almost full, maybe had 1 or 1,5 cm left to the edge.

  • I must make this for my next book club! It looks amazing!!

  • David,

    I love books. but I also love food blogs too! I think the reason I like trying recipes from food blogs is that I have the understanding that the person writing actually made the recipe. Sometimes with books I’ve found mistakes or had difficulties with the recipes. On a blog, you can comment and usually get an answer from the actual cook! That being said however, with the more personal cookbooks that I’ve been reading lately (from the library) I usually end up buying myself a copy anyway. I like the smaller more intimate books where the person concentrates on one type of thing whether it’s baking desserts only or cookies etc. I think the days of the comprehensive, cover every subject cookbook is done. I’ve been wondering about the beet cake since I read about how the red velvet originally used beets for coloring and a small amount of cocoa. This makes sense to me. All the red velvet cakes I’ve tried at various functions made no sense. They don’t really have a flavor and I didn’t understand their appeal. This one now! This one I might be able to get behind!!! so thank you.

  • Beets? Really? I tried the mayo cake and that did help with the moisture. I would have never thought of beets.

  • I baked that cake this week and it came out great. I used labneh instead of butter as I don’t really enjoy cakes when they are too rich. All my colleagues I shared it with loved it! Thanks for sharing this recipe, on my blog today.

  • I can’t wait to make this! It’s so perfect–almost like, healthy, and it looks totally enjoyable too. You can’t get better than taking the ingredients from the earth and mixing them with someone’s pure inspiration. EEEK! Off to buy beets…