Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chocolate Beet Cake

It sounds like an unlikely pairing – dark red, earthy beets and chocolate. But trust me, it works. As part of my day job I work in the therapeutic area of oncology. Recently, I was lucky enough to visit Wellspring, a support service for cancer patients that operates in affiliation with Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto ( These people are amazing, offering services ranging from financial planning (cancer is expensive), exercise, therapy, to nutrition (among other things). The morning we were there we started with a tour of the facilities (beautiful) and then sat down for a breakfast meeting. They served chocolate cake for breakfast. My kind of people.

I asked for the recipe, because it was moist, rich, a beautiful colour, and delicious. That’s when I found out the cake contained beets!

Here’s the recipe.

Puree until smooth:
2 cups cooked beets, peeled and chopped (I roasted my beets – refer to my beet and kale recipe for details on how to roast and peel beets)
½ cup applesauce (I use unsweetened)

Set aside once pureed.

Combine and mix until smooth:
1 ½ cups sugar (I cut this back to a little less than 1 cup)
½ cup vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
½ cup yogurt (I use 0% fat Greek yogurt)
3 eggs

Add to beet mixture:
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract (use real vanilla)

Puree for about 90 seconds.

Sift together:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

Gradually sift the dry ingredients into the sugar, egg, yogurt mixture  and stir only until blended. 

Then add:
½ cup chocolate chips (semi sweet) (optional)
½ cup nuts (optional – I don’t put nuts in because my kids don’t like nuts)

Stir in. Pour batter into a square 9.5” x 9.5” x 2” pan that has been sprayed generously with cooking spray. If you don’t have a square pan this size, you can use a different sized pan as long as it holds the same volume (Google equivalent pan sizes).

Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. If you bake in a convection oven, reduce the heat by 25 degrees and start checking the cake for doneness at about 35 to 40 minutes.

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