I’m so excited to share this recipe with you!
A quick back story: I’ve been on a slow food journey all of my life. Little changes have been made over a couple of decades, and my latest mission is to buy as much food as I can locally and support small farmers. I grew up on a dairy farm, and I love supporting them. Because we have a few more months before we can start growing anything, I have been participating in a local co-op produce group (and providing homemade bread for them as well). This means I eat and feed my family whatever arrives in our baskets, which I find challenging and fun.
Last week we got a batch of beets. As much as I love veggies, I’ve never been a beet fan, so I’ve been trying to figure out how to make them tolerable.
One solution was to make red velvet cake. To make a long story short, it has been the best experiment to date. The cake turned out amazing, and I loved the fact that everything was 100% natural.
A few notes before you get to the recipe:
- You’ll need lots of natural acid to keep the rich red color of the beets. Note the use of a highly acidic vinegar and juices. It makes sense, right? We put lemon juice and other things in salsas and jams to help them keep their color. And can you believe that color?
- This was experiment number one, so I think it can get even better. I’ve toyed with the idea of adding more chocolate. But for now, enjoy!
Red Velvet Cake (with beets)
3 large beets, pureed
2 1/2 cups cake flour (or 2 cups all-purpose flour whisked with 1/2 cup cornstarch)
2 oz. baking chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 + 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar (6% acidity)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and 2 1/2 cups sugar together. In another mixing bowl, whisk the beet puree, milk, and vinegar together. Cut the orange and lemons into wedges, and squeeze the juice into the beats. It should equal about 1/2 cup. Set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream 1/2 cup sugar and butter together until it is fluffy and bright yellow. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each. Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, then add the melted chocolate and vanilla. Cook cake in whatever form you wish.
While the cake cooks, make the frosting:
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream the first three ingredients together. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Frost the cake when it is completely cooled.