Last year I was riding the beet barge in a big way. Beets, beets, beets. It seemed like every week we got about 54 pounds of beets in our produce box. I had beets every night with dinner, most days with lunch, and I even wondered how they’d taste with cereal in the morning. Or maybe ground up in some coffee. Beet tea? Beet milk – better for you than soy milk? Needless to say, I felt beeten up.
So, I was relieved when the weekly beet shipment slowed down for the summer (and was replaced by the zucchini shipment. Ha! My relief was shortlived.).
But about halfway through the summer, it occurred to me that I should’ve been making tiny beet cakes with all those damn beets. Right? Beet cakes! Life’s biggest drudgeries become novel when baked into tiny cakes! Tiny pink cakes. The only problem was that I wasn’t getting any beets, just lots and lots of zucchini and greens. Beet cakes had to wait.
And so, the beet went on.
Until yesterday, that is, when I got three gorgeous beets in our produce box!
So I set out to make tiny beet cakes for two. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a recipe for two tiny beet cakes. But I did have this:
Which had this recipe in it:
So I scaled things back, and referred to the ratios in this recipe for apricot cakes. I changed things slightly from that recipe because I wanted the cakes to be chocolatey, and also because I knew the shredded beets would add a ton of moisture. The result? Decadently chocolate moist cakes that even the most virulent beet hater would eat. There wasn’t even a hint of beets in the final product. No beet shards, no beety flavor, not even any of the cute almost violent pink-ness that was the hallmark of the batter. This, my friends, is the answer to my 8-month-long ticket to sail on the beet barge. Oh, and the icing is just a plain jane butter-powdered sugar-vanilla deal, only pinkened up with some beet juice!
I highly recommend this recipe! Robert said it was the best cake he’d had in his life, but he says stuff like that a lot. It really was so so so moist, so chocolatey, and so perfect for a Saturday night dessert for two cake lovers.
Tiny Chocolate Beet Cakes
1/4 cup plus one Tbs flour
1/ 4 cup cocoa
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
2 Tbs yogurt or buttermilk (I used plain yogurt)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbs melted butter
1/2 cup shredded raw beet (approximately 1 medium beet)
3 Tbs butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs milk (I used almond milk)
2-3 cups powdered sugar (or more!)
beet juice (I made some by shredding the last bit of a beet, mixing it with a little water, and swirling it around.)
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two ramekins (about four inches in diameter).
Mix all dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and sugar) in a small bowl. Combine all wet ingredients (butter, yogurt, vanilla, and egg) in a medium bowl. Mix shredded beets with wet ingredients, and then gently stir in dry ingredients until everything is just combined. Divide batter into ramekins and bake for 25 minutes or so, until a toothpick inserted into cakes comes out mostly clean. Cool in ramekins for 15 minutes or so, then run a sharp knife around the edges and turn them out into a rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer. If needed, add more powdered sugar or milk (or beet juice) to achieve the correct consistency.
Frost the cakes any way you’d like. Me? I cut the cakes in half horizontally, spread a little homemade strawberry jam on each half, and then iced them. Delicious! You can’t beet ‘em. Har.