Before I introduce you to my latest cake experiment, please take a blog-reading break and enjoy this song. (Trust me, you might need it). Okay, you can push play and then keep reading. Ready?
Kasia, a friend of mine who also has a food blog (Kasia's Kitchen), has raved about Joy the Baker for years. One day she pointed me to this Chocolate Beet Cake recipe and begged me to try it, to see if it really worked or tasted good. I bookmarked it (pinned it, really, since I now keep track of recipes I want to try in Pinterest) and then bought beets with no plan at the farmer's market.
I can't be the only person who does that... buys vegetables without a plan. After all, that pushed me into using fennel for the first time and planting a jalapeno pepper in my garden. But most of the time, I don't think to add them to cakes. Okay, except for squash and green tomatoes and carrots. I take it back. Vegetables belong in baked goods!
Still, this is my first experience baking with beets. I'm actually new to liking beets in general. I had canned pickled beets for years as my only exposure to the vegetable, and wasn't a huge fan. One year while we still lived in Indiana, we had a nice dinner at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (it appears to have been replaced by something else). I ordered a roasted beet salad, which ended up being little solitary stacks of roasted beet, goat cheese, and beet chip - and it was delicious. Ever since, I've been a little more curious about them. I even make a salad with beets, field peas, and goat cheese. This is why I bought the beets in the first place!
I am getting way off track here. Hi. This is a picture of the chocolate beet cake that I made, and it was delicious - dense in a good way, and very moist. The recipe lives over at Joy the Baker, so please pay her a visit and try making this amazing cake. Her pictures are gorgeous, because she also added beets to the icing. After reading her comment about beet strands, I elected not to do the same, which probably got more people to try the cake, but in the end I think I would have enjoyed the extra flavor layer of beets.
One thing I did wrong, and you can kind of see it in this picture - I used the largest grater I had instead of the smallest. Since you don't puree the beets, the finer they are grated, the more even in texture the cake will be. That's something I'll do differently next time. And there will be a next time.