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Chocolate beet cake

Ok, first of all, just so you know…I am really really not a typical (cup) cake person.

And I mean the kind of people that meet with friends or close relatives over a slice of cake and a cup of coffee to talk about the weal and woe in life.
I just dont do that.
I dont eat (cup) cakes, I dont think they are cute and I surely dont enjoy them while sitting and chatting.
I bake and taste them (and yes, i really truely enjoy and indulge in this act) but then I am pretty fast over it and move on to the next exciting thing.
Well, this is gradually changing and I dont know why … actually I think it already did!

There, I said it. I did it. I actually baked and ate my own (cup) cake. Weird, right? :-)
Well, to clarify – it was an accident and second…it was part of the job.
Ok, let me start from the beginning

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So there is this chocolate beet cake I have been dreaming of for about two months now.
I was starting to crave dark, rich and comforting foods after it got a little chilly here in Berlin and I remember reading about a recipe somewhere (here) but forgot about it again as there was no appropriate occasion to just bake on a Tuesday morning and show up with a chocolate beet cake at someone’s place in the afternoon (ok, before everyone starts yelling at met….just tell me if u want me to make you cake for absolutely no reason except that its hell lot of fun for me and will make you happy, too)

So I did a little bit more research and found a „Moist chocolate beet cake“ from David Lebovitz (who adapted it from Nigel Slater who is the UK master of vegetables and has exactly 3 cake recipes in his „Tender“ cookbook and this is one of them) and (obviously) decided to change a few ingredients and steps but tried to keep the measurements pretty much the same.

The first time I made the cake I was in Amsterdam, visiting my friend Suki who needed help baking a birthday cake for her friend so I picked up the opportunity and we managed to whip up this amazing cake (note: what you see on the pictures is just my baked layer, Suki finished it off with the beautiful toppings and delicious vegan chocolate sauce!)

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Unfortunately I wasnt able to actually taste it (except the already beet-y delicious batter) as it was for her friend and I had already left Amsterdam at the time they devoured it.
But I must admit I was pretty jealous of my cake being eaten by others…so much that I decided to make it again.

And yesterday was the day.
But not just any random day.
It was the day, where I got invited to Stuttgart to cook with Patrik Jaros for about 20 investors, start ups and business partners … just for fun.
Yes, people do that.
They fly in for one night from all over Germany to enjoy an intimate dinner with food, wine, music (check out Finn Martin!!!) and connecting with people from all different kind of work fields.
I had no idea what to expect but all I knew was that I wanted to show them „a new way of experiencing desserts“ without the typical ingredients like butter, sugar, flour and dairy products.
No, I didnt forget eggs accidentally. I love eating and baking with eggs. Just for the record 😉
(…but for all my lovely vegan friends out there: you could try making it without the eggs and let me know how it turned out!!!)

Anyways, the dinner was a huge success and working with Patrik such an inspiring and humbling experience.
He has been working as one of the first Michelin star chefs in Germany for many many years and its great to see him being involved in new projects that include making people aware of not only organic but farming without pesticides and eating locally grown and harvested food.

I will post pictures and write about the event more in detail on my fb page but this post is dedicated solely to my (and soon yours) chocolate beet (cup)cake and the transformation of Lisa eating it, too.

To finish off the story: Not only did I spontanuously decided to make little muffins (that can be transformed into cupcakes) instead of a cake, I also wrapped up one for my loooong train ride back to Berlin (where I am writing right now), something I have never done before because – like I mentioned earlier – I ususally dont really eat my cakes but just take a bite and decide if its good enough or not.
But this time was different. There was no judgement and there was also no rush.
I was actually tasting and experiencing the whole process and development I put into this cake and I was just happy to have made a new friend (yes, you can make friends with non-living objects).

But more important: I want you to bake this cake. Please.
You can also make cupcakes out of it and decorate them with this frosting.
You can make anything you want, but please give it a shot because it will make you feel happier instantly – especially as the days are getting shorter and colder…it almost works like medicine.
Ok, maybe not but its what you believe that will become reality, right?

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So here it is – my new favorite

Chocolate-beet (cup) cake recipe:

250g beets
200g bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao solids), chopped
1/4 cup (60ml espresso) or hot water with 1 Tbsp instant/grain coffee
200 g neutral vegetable or coconut oil
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups (300g) coconut or brown unrefined sugar
5 Medjool dates
1 cup (135 g) buckwheat flour
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
5 large eggs, room temperature
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)

Grease a springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper

Boil or bake the beets for about 45 minutes or until fully cooked
When cool enough to handle, slip off the peels, cut the beets into chunks and set aside
(you can also buy the cooked and peeled vacuum packaged beets but make sure they are organic)
In a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate
Turn off the heat, pour in the hot espresso, salt, vanilla extract and oil and stir to combine.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a separate bowl.
Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool, then stir in the egg yolks one at a time until fully incorporated.
In a blender combine the chocolate mixture, coconut sugar, dates and the beets and blend til smooth
In a stand mixer, or by hand, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff.
Alternately fold in the egg whites and flour mix into the melted chocolate mixture, being careful not to overmix.
Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 minutes or until the sides are just set but the centre still a bit wobbly.
Do not overbake!
Let cool completely and finish off with some frosting or other decorations

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For cupcakes or muffins:

Grease a muffin form with oil and coat the individua cups with a cacao-coconut sugar mixture to prevent from sticking.
Fill them up to 3/4 with the batter and bake for 15-20 minutes (check with a stick or knife after 15 minute to make sure you are not overbaking them)
Let cool completely and frost them with a chocolate ganache if you like.