Thursday, October 13, 2011

Beet Root Chocolate Cake

What do you do when your guinea pig is away for a week and you are excited about a new recipe such as Beet Root Chocolate Cake?

You invite a few friends over. Yeap, that's what you should do.

Beet root is not something that I love on a first sight. But I embrace it because it's something that my in-laws serve on the dinner table. The rest of people on the aforesaid dinner table never touch it, but I need to buy their love, you see. So I do what I do best. I open my mouth and eat. And pull a purple teethy smile for everyone to see.

Ever since that day, I've been wanting to cook beet root in my own kitchen. But when I do, nobody touches the vile purple thing except me. How disappointing. So when I spotted Beet Root Chocolate Cake, I knew the perfect way to squeeze beetroot into H's life.

I did all the needful. The store bought beetroot came in smallish size, so I used 5-6 of them. I peeled the skin, chopped the ends, quartered them, covered them in water and boiled them. But half way through, I started to taste a little bitterness from my beetroot. Like a sap taste. Wot??? How come?? I googled and it brought me to Australian agriculture forum (reason: unhealthy soil, blablabla). How to remedy? If I dial SOS to my mom, it would wake the entire clan up. So I emailed Sala instead to seek her advice. And I pressed on.

I was so relieved to note that on the final batter, I can hardly taste the bitterness and yet there is this amazing sweet undertone from the beetroot. Something that you can't achieve with sugar. Wow. I was blown away. I used a 9x10 inch baking pan that I normally use to roast vegetables. Hell, it is a BIG cake.

30 mins and still not baked in the middle. I lowered down the oven to 150 C and set my timer to 4 minute frequency. I took me at least another 5x of checking, prodding and poking before I'm satisfied with the cake. Ma belle-mere always tells me not to bake a chocolate cake till done. She said that some part should remains gooey. And that's what I did today.

But as I left the cake to cool down, the middle part continued to sink down. Never mind, nothing that ganache can't hide :) And I'm happy to report that the cake was a smash hit. So hop over to Sala's site here or here's my version of the cake. Not that I change any of it, but you know how I like to short cut things :)

Beet Root Chocolate Cake (10 pax)


[A] Chocolate cake
* 300 gr boiled mashed beet root. See my note above. I did this the day before.
* 85 gr dark chocolate, melted using microwave
* 3 medium eggs
* 300 gr white sugar
* 240 ml vegetable oil
* 1 tsp vanilla extract. I skipped this part for having used all just earlier this week.
* 30 gr cocoa powder
* 200 gr cake flour
* 1.5 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp salt

[B] Chocolate Ganache
* 250gr dark chocolate, chopped in small cubes. The smaller it is, the faster it melts.
* 250ml heavy cream

How to:
* (Preparing The Cake) Preheat your oven to 175 C.

* In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and oil until well incorporated.

* Add in the melted chocolate & vanilla extract, whisk whisk. Put on your apron and slowly added the mashed beet root and continue whisking till it mixes well.

* Sift in the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt. Fold in. Do not overmix or overwork.

* Grease your baking/cake pan with oil or butter and flour it. Tap out excess flour before finally pouring in your cake batter. I used a 10x9 inch baking pan.

* Bake for 30 mins or more, till toothpick inserted comes clean. For mine, it took me about 20 mins more, with heat lowered to 150 C the moment I saw the cake top cracking.

* (Preparing The Ganache) Heat up the cream in a heavy bottom pot over low heat. Do not overboiled them. Half way through, dump the chocolate inside and lift up the pot, to avoid direct heat contact. Using a wire whisk, stir till all chocolate melts.

* Once it's ready, pour over your chocolate beet root cake. Cool over room temperature before putting into fridge for at least 2 hrs before serving.

Verdict? If you're familiar with beetroot, you'll recognize the taint beet flavour. But if you aren't familiar, and not a fan of beetroot, you're in for a pleasant surprise. It's so so moist. Let's just say each of my very nice guinea pigs are bringing 1/4 of cake home for their husbands. Yahoooo! :)

That picture you see above is all I can save for H. It's my welcome home present for him. And some saucisson from France! Thanks Mrs T, you have just made me the most wonderful wife ever.

La betterave et moi, nous t'attendons. Come home quick! 

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