The last time I wrote about finishing my CSA beets, I got an interesting response from my college-aged daughter. Safely ensconced at an out-of-state college, she remarked:
I look forward to seeing if you can make something with beets that your kids will eat.
So when she came home for spring break last week, I was ready with a plan… and a recipe for chocolate beet cake. We had family members coming over for dinner which seemed enough to defray suspicion. On Saturday morning I got up early to bake, then hide the evidence
The recipe came from the blog “Straight from the Farm” and I actually made it according to direction except that I substituted butter for margarine (note that this is the first time in years, I haven’t substituted at least half whole wheat flour). And I frosted it rather than decorate the cake with the lovely beet stencil of the original blog which would certainly have defeated my attempts at secrecy.
After dinner, I brought out coffee and cake. My mother and stepfather declined, having given up dessert for Lent, but everyone else dug in. My two oldest kids thought the cake was good, but the third wrinkled up her nose and said, “This tastes funny.” The adults thought the cake was ok but not exceptional. I broke the news, got laughs and a little gloating from daughter number 3.
Next I packed up the rest of the cake to send my sister’s house. She was having some teenagers over, offering more testing opportunity. Unfortunately, daughter number 2 spilled the beans early to her cousins and the tally there was two “for”, two “against”, and two “I’m not tasting that.’
So in the end, the results were ok but not great, though perhaps it was unfair since some of the reviewers knew there were beets in the cake. But ultimately, I didn’t believe it was a great cake. I am a firm believer that with enough persistence and creativity your healthy food can be as good, or better, than unhealthy food. So the recipe will not make it to my archives.
On a positive note, the baking episode meant five beets bit the dust. And I learned how easy it is to remove beet skins if you boil the beets first, paving the way for easier use of beets in roasted vegetables.
And if there is a moral to the story, it is beware of cakes baked before 7 AM. There are other beet cake recipes out on the internet…