We were gifted a bounty of homegrown veggies recently. The tomatoes were eaten in a flash, thickly sliced, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and dusted with freshly crumbled dried basil; the green beans were devoured by tossing them in olive oil, garlic flakes, salt and pepper and then roasting them to almost-fry-like-perfection. Even the carrots were devoured as a side dish.
The only problem was the beet. A big, beautiful, deep red beet. What to do with such a big, beautiful, deep red beet? I’ve never liked beets. It stems back from school dinners (or more correctly, school lunches), where the only forms of beetroot I had seen, were of the pickled variety, from a jar. The smell, to me, was disgusting. The crunch from when people were eating it, to me, was disgusting. The red juices smeared on the plate, to me, was disgusting. Since then, I’ve now grown up, and eaten beets, not the pickled version mind you. I still don’t like them. They are far too earthy for me. I know, I know, they are packed full of nutrients, but the only way I have enjoyed them is in the form of crisps/chips.
What to do? What to do? I know that red velvet cake can be colored by adding beets, instead of some weird artificial coloring. To be honest with you, I never saw the purpose of a red velvet cake. It’s red and barely chocolaty, so why not have a real, non-red moist chocolate cake, packed full of flavor instead? I dunno. Anyway, back to the beet…
I scoured the internet to find a cake recipe that had to be gluten-free, dairy free and sweetened by a natural non-refined sweetener, such as maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar. I found a wonderful recipe at the green kitchen stories website, although not gluten-free, it was easily fixed by using my own gluten-free flour blend. The result was a super-moist chocolate cake. The beets could not be detected, even for two people who have a strong aversion to beets.
MOIST CHOCOLATE AND BEET CAKE
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories – Decadent Beet Chocolate Cake
Makes one 20 cm (8 inch) cake
- 100 g (7 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon) melted coconut oil
- 125 ml (1/2 c) maple syrup
- 50 g (2 oz) dark/bittersweet chocolate (at least 70+%), melted
- 250 g (~2 c) grated raw beetroot
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 200 g (1 1/2 c) gum- and gluten-free flour mix*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
* the weight of the flour mix depends on what it’s made up of. My gluten-free flour blend is usually made up of 1 part in weight of brown rice flour, 1 part in weight of millet flour, 1.5 part in weight glutinous/sweet rice flour and 1.5 part in weight of potato starch.
1. Preheat the oven to 175 C/350 F. Grease and/or line one 20 cm/8 inch round spring-form baking tin/pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut oil, maple syrup and chocolate, then add the grated beets and beaten eggs.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt directly into the beet mixture. Pour cake batter into prepared tin/pan.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until slightly dark, crackled and set on top. Be careful not too undercook it (wet/stodgy center), or overcook it (dry and crumbly). Let cool before slicing and serving. Enjoy!