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Seeing as the quinoa muffins were a hit last week, I decided to try my hand at modifying some more traditional recipes to make them healthier. I’m also still working on that whole eating more veggies thing, so I look for ways to sneak them in.

Okay, at this point you might be really to click away, having learned that this cake is a “healthy version” that incorporates vegetables, but hold on a second. The cake is actually really good. I promise.

chocolatebeetcake-132Trust me, it took me a moment to wrap my head around this cake, because I had it in my brain that this should taste like chocolate cake normally tastes. Clearly, it doesn’t. There’s no butter, no wheat four and no processed sugar. Of course it’s not going to taste the same. However, once I reconciled myself to that notion, I began to appreciate the deep earthiness of the cake, paired with a mild, subtly bitter, chocolatey flavor. It was rich and moist – it also had a lovely texture and smelled heavenly. And it’s pretty. So I’m pleased with my cake and, the more I eat of it, the more attached I’ve become. So who knew? “Healthy” cake and still be yummy cake. Also, I’ve discovered that it tastes more chocolatey when chilled. Super yummy.

Also, I think I accidentally made this recipe gluten-free, so long as you are using a gluten-free baking powder and oats. However, I’m not a gluten expert, by any stretch of the imagination, so feel free to let me know whether I’m correct, if gluten-free is your thing.

This cake was inspired by Nigel Slater’s “Very Moist Chocolate Cake” from his book “Tender, vol. 1,” and the recipe is also available online here.

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8 oz Fresh Beets (approx 1 med – lg beet)
1 1/4 C Oat Flour
3/4 C Apple Sauce
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1/4 C Espresso
1 C Dates, pitted & chopped
4 Tbs Cocoa Powder
5 Eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
8 oz Dark Chocolate

 

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Preheat the oven to 350º F and prep an 8″ spring form pan. I use Wilton’s Bake Easy and line the bottom with parchment paper, as well.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and submerge the beet, whole and unpeeled. Cook until it can be easily pierced with a knife – approximately 45 minutes.

While the beets are cooking, whisk together the oat flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder and set aside.

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Combine the dates and 1/3 C hot water in a food processor or blender and blend until you get a smooth paste. Add more water, as needed, to make the paste.

Add the dates to a large bowl, along with the apple sauce, olive oil, espresso and eggs yolks. Whisk until all the ingredients are smooth. Put the egg whites in a separate bowl and chill until later.

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Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and then stir into the wet mixture.

When the beet has finished cooking, peel and cut into pieces. Then blend it in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir it into the wet ingredients.

 

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Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and then fold in the egg whites.  Pour the batter into the springform pan and place in the oven. Turn the temperature down to 325º F and cook until set – approximately 1 hour. The surface will be firm and will crack slightly when cooked. Test the middle with a toothpick – there should be moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick, rather than batter.

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Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes before removing the ring from the spring form pan. Let the cake cool completely and then remove the bottom of the pan.

Slice the cake and, if you feel like throwing a few calories into the healthfest going on, serve with a dollop of whipped cream. And a little strawberry sauce, if you happen to have some lying around…

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Chocolate Beet Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe By:
Recipe Type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 8 oz Fresh Beets (approx 1 med - lg beet)
  • 1¼ C Oat Flour
  • ¾ C Apple Sauce
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • ¼ C Espresso
  • 1 C Dates, pitted & chopped
  • 4 Tbs Cocoa Powder
  • 5 Eggs, separated
  • 1½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 8 oz Dark Chocolate
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F and prep an 8" spring form pan. I use Wilton's Bake Easy and line the bottom with parchment paper, as well.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and submerge the beet, whole and unpeeled. Cook until it can be easily pierced with a knife - approximately 45 minutes.
  3. While the beets are cooking, whisk together the oat flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder and set aside.
  4. Combine the dates and ⅓ C hot water in a food processor or blender and blend until you get a smooth paste. Add more water, as needed, to make the paste.
  5. Add the dates to a large bowl, along with the apple sauce, olive oil, espresso and eggs yolks. Whisk until all the ingredients are smooth. Put the egg whites in a separate bowl and chill until later.
  6. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and then stir into the wet mixture.
  7. When the beet has finished cooking, peel and cut into pieces. Then blend it in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir it into the wet ingredients.
  8. Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  9. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and then fold in the egg whites. Pour the batter into the springform pan and place in the oven. Turn the temperature down to 325º F and cook until set - approximately 1 hour. The surface will be firm and will crack slightly when cooked. Test the middle with a toothpick - there should be moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick, rather than batter.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes before removing the ring from the spring form pan. Let the cake cool completely and then remove the bottom of the pan.
  11. Slice the cake and, if you feel like throwing a few calories into the healthfest going on, serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
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