Double Chocolate Beet Cake
Simmer the beets in enough water to cover them until they are very tender — about 30-45 minutes. Oil an 8” springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Drain and then rinse beets under cold water. Peel and cut into large dice. Add to food processor and process until beets form a coarse puree.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium-sized bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, melt the chocolate stirring only toward the end. Once it’s almost all melted, turn off the burner. Add the butter, swirl gently with a spatula to mix. Gently whisk in the espresso. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt in a separate bowl. Set aside.
Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat. Let it cool for a few minutes. Stir the egg yolks together and whisk a bit of the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Once fully incorporated, add the egg yolk mixture to the chocolate mixture and quickly whisk the mixture together. Fold in the beet puree.
Whip the egg whites until stiff in a stand mixer (or by hand). Gradually fold the sugar into the whipped egg whites with a spatula and then fold them into the melted chocolate mixture — first a third of the egg white mixture and then the remaining egg white mixture.
Gently fold in the flour and cocoa powder mixture and fold in the cacao nibs.
Place the batter into the prepared springform pan and place it on a baking sheet and then in the oven. Reduce the oven to 325°F and bake the cake for 40-45 minutes, or until the sides are just set but the center is still a little soft. Be careful not to overbake.
Let the cake cool completely. Remove from the pan.
If you can wait, allow the cake to cool completely before serving. Serve Mascarpone (or crème fraîche) and poppy seeds along side for garnish. Or serve with a scoop of vanilla gelato — always a crowd favorite!
In Your Glass
With this dessert we like to let the cake do all the sweet talking and enjoy it with a glass of something rich (but dry) like a Cabernet such as Shafer’s One Point Five. At the same time it’s hard not to love this with an aromatic espresso.