Storified by Arya McLean· Thu, Apr 04 2013 17:44:59
Red beets can make chocolate cake richer and moist, almost molten and contributes a delicate sweetness. The deep velvet red color of beets also makes an elegant looking chocolate cake. This gourmet cooking recipe for chocolate beet cake is adapted from Simply in Season by Mark Beach and Julie Kauffman. The beets are subtle enough in flavor not to overwhelm the chocolate taste. In addition to giving the cake texture, moisture and color, beets, which are considered a superfood, also add a lot of beneficial nutrients to this decadent dessert including folate, potassium, magnesium, and powerful phytochemicals.
This healthier version of chocolate cake also includes applesauce, sugar, oil, plain yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking cocoa, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. The applesauce and yogurt add moisture and richness to the cake together with the beets while the baking soda keeps the cake from becoming too heavy and dense. Acting as a leavening agent, the baking soda allows the cake to rise and makes it light, airy and fluffy.
To prepare the beets for use in this recipe, trim the leaf stalks to abut an inch of the stem on and, leaving the root end to keep the beet juice from leaching out while cooking. Wash the beets gently under cold running water and gently rub the skin with a paper towel. The beets will be boiled before they are peeled and added to the rest of the ingredients. The skins should remain while boiling the beets and only peeled after the beets are cooked since this helps retain the color of the beets and keep it from losing flavor. Once the beets are cooked, you can now peel them using a vegetable peeler and chop. They will be pureed together with the applesauce using an immersion blender or a regular blender.