Beets make me sing.
Maybe it’s because I think of the cute little shirt I once saw on Pinterest “Lettuce Turnip The Beet™”.
Or that I currently have Salt-N-Pepa stuck in my head “let’s talk about beets baby, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things beets can be, let’s talk about beets.”
So when a friend (Hi Betsy!) had a beet inspired FB post on her page, I couldn’t help but mention one of the most delicious cakes this non baker has ever made…Beet Cake! She requested the recipe. I had an aha moment to turn it into my own blog post.
The first time I had Beet Cake I was at a little neighborly tavern in Cleveland Heights, Jimmy O’Neills. I had eaten there several times before I got up the guts to order a cake made with beets. My initial thought was “eww”. Back then, beets didn’t cross my lips. I associated them only with my mom’s excitement when she saw these dark purple, wet balls on a salad bar.
I associated beets with “old lady food” (sorry mom).
However, once my dining companion and I took our first bite, we were hooked. And from that moment on, anyone who dined with us, no matter where the main course was eaten we ended the evening with Beet Cake at Jimmy’s. (Or as another friend who initially couldn’t stomach the idea of eating beets nicknamed it, beef cake. Which I think is way worse.)
Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk about beets.
“All the good things..”
If you were to Google beets, you’d see fancy words like “antioxidant, phytonutrients, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support” as well as good source of fiber, manganese and folate.
BELIEVE IT ALL!!
Beets are a powerhouse of good nutrition. I won’t bore you with actual specifics of nutrient density. You know it’s loaded. That’s why beet juice and beet supplements are all the rage. It’s what we do best. Take a healthy food and make it drinkable or place it into powder form. Heaven forbid we eat the actual vegetable. (Sorry. Soap box moment there.)
“And the bad things..”
If you become a beet convert, one of the things I’ll warn you now is that you might panic and think you’ve got rectal bleeding. Yes friends. Beets make your poop turn red. Even from beet cake. It’s normal.
It may also make your pee turn reddish. That’s called beeturia. (You can’t make this stuff up!) If that occurs when you eat beets routinely, let your doctor know. Sometimes it’s an indicator that you have whacky iron absorption issues.
And well if you say “the bad thing about beets is the TASTE”, well it might not be your jam. But don’t take one look (or bite) of salad bar beets and disown them for the rest of your life. Cut them into little squares, roast those bad boys up in a hot over than top them on a salad with goat cheese and candied walnuts or combine them with roasted sweet potatoes, garlic and onion as a hash topped with a perfectly sunny side up egg. (Man I’m hungry!)
Or eat them as Cake!!!
The recipe I concocted has been adapted from Allrecipes contributor Vermadel Kirby, cooked in a Bundt pan and serves 16!
Jimmy’s use to serve it with a homemade chocolate genache icing and fresh, real whipped cream. I cheat and drizzle my favorite jarred hot fudge from Cleveland based Mitchell’s Ice Cream that I’ve warmed up to actually make it drizzly.
The big difference between this recipe and the many other beet cake recipes out there is the amount of pureed beets used. Don’t settle for a measly ½ cup. Go big!
And before I go any further. Let’s get one thing straight so that I don’t get any hate beet cake email. It’s a CAKE recipe. This dietitian tries NOT to do low fat or skimp of flavor. I try and do GREAT TASTING and PORTION CONTROL. And add veggies where possible. But there’s still butter and sugar. And to be shared with 15 of your comrades.
Misfit Beet Cake
Chocolaty goodness and a hearty (healthy) wallop of pureed beets equals one happy dessert loving dietitian!
- 1 cup butter divided
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate typically 4 squares
- 2 cups pureed (cooked) beets canned works
- 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan.
Cream 3/4 cup butter and brown sugar. Add eggs; mix well.
Melt chocolate with remaining 1/4 cup butter until smooth. (Some do this in a double boiler, others in the microwave. I have better success in the double boiler but I don't melt chocolate often).
Blend melted chocolate, pureed beets and vanilla with the butter/brown sugar mixture. It may appear separated.
Combine flours, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
Combine flour and beet mixtures; mix well.
Pour into prepped pan and bake for 45-55 minutes. Do the toothpick test.
Cool in the pan ~10 minutes before transferring into a wire rack.
Can dust with powdered sugar, your favorite chocolate genache recipe or cheat and drizzle a little melted hot fudge on top before devouring.
How to puree beets. If using whole beets, you'll need to steam or boil them until fork tender. Then whiz them away in a high powered blender with either the beet water from boiling or tap. If using canned, I find that buying shredded beets saves on pureeing time. Reserve the canned beet juice and add to blender until it's the consistency of smooth apple sauce.
Unfortunately guessing by the old Yelp reviews, Jimmy’s is no longer there. However, the legacy of his famous Beet Cake lives on in my heart and mouth.
You’re turn, do you like beets? What’s your favorite way to eat them? Comment below.
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Misfit Hugs, Kim
PS. The next round of the The Misfit Method program starts again in 2023! Watch for details. Or if you want info NOW (I only open 5 spots), email me at KimLeneghan@gmail.com.
Here’s what Natalie from DC said “Everything in my closest fits! Even the stuff I bought years ago and couldn’t fit into at the time!”
High Five Natalie!!