The following recipe is one that my baker sister and I came up with one weekend when we were visiting a friend in Martha's Vineyard. A friend of my sister's had made her a chocolate beet cake once, and we did our best to make a successful one. The following is what we came up with. It was super successful, and is now a favorite amongst all of my friends who frequently request it.
Chocolate Beet Cake
2 c. cooked, pureed beets
3/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 sq. bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 c. flour (I use unbleached white, or whole wheat white, but experiment)
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
chocolate chips (however many you like)
1. Have fun
2. Peel the beets, dice small, and cook until soft, and then puree until a smoothie-like consistency. Combine the eggs, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla in a large bowl. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a seperate bowl and then stir into the wet ingredients. Stir in the cooked beets. Add the melted chocolate. Stir the chocolate chips into the batter while the batter is still warm - this melts them slightly and makes the cake fudgy as the chips settle when it's baking. Pour the batter into a greased and floured pan - I like to make one big cake, so I think an 8 in. square pan or one springform works the best.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. Check it at 30 - I just keep my eye on it. It may need more time.
The cake is delicious without frosting, but I sometimes make a cream cheese frosting. I combine about 16 oz. cream cheese in a bowl with maple syrup until it is sweet and smooth enough. I sometimes also save the drained cooking water from the beets to add to the frosting to make it an interesting, fun, cotton candy kinda pink!
One last note - the last time I made the cake, I skipped out on the melted chocolate, and just added the chocolate chips to the batter, in hopes of having a chocolate spotted red cake! However, the chips melted and it still turned the cake brown, but the cake was still amazing and did not miss the melted 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate.
If anyone tries it out, let me know what you think!