January 12, 2011
I think I’m picking up bad habits from the mother.
I love the mom – she’s a generous, giving person and one of my biggest influences in life – but her attitude towards food cannot be any further from my own. I’m willing to splurge on tasting menu at a nice restaurant whereas she will cook a gigantic pot of rice and eat it every day for a week. She also has a tendency to never follow a recipe completely.
“Sugar? Do we really need that much? I think I’ll cut that in half.
Butter? That much butter can’t be good for you – I’m just going to cut that out entirely.
Now to add in some nuts and bran and oats and for nutritional purposes…”
Well, I definitely pulled a mom on this recipe.
I had this beet lying around my kitchen that was starting to go soft and I didn’t feel like roasting it. I had seen recipes online for a beet cake and thought it couldn’t hurt to give one of them a try. Most recipes call for chocolate to accompany (mask?) the beet flavor but this particular recipe by Tyler Florence was a pure beet cake. However, I made a few swaps…
“The recipe calls for brown sugar? I have none, so I’ll just use white.
Buttermilk? I only have non-fat – that’ll do, I guess.
Molasses? Do I need to buy molasses? I’ll just use maple syrup.
Now to incorporate some whole wheat flour in the place of the all-purpose flour and use applesauce instead of oil…”
Honestly, I was expecting this cake to fall flat but surprisingly enough…the end result wasn’t half bad! The beets give an interesting touch to the final product – similar to carrot cake or zucchini bread, you get a hint of earthy vegetable in every bite, which does take a little bit to get used to. I’d imagine the real deal is a smoother flavor, which is why I’m including the original recipe below for you to try yourself. However, if you start swapping this for that, don’t worry! You’ll still be okay.
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, to grease baking pans
* 1 1/4 cups finely chopped red beets
* 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* a pinch of kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
* 2 large eggs
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Begin by lightly greasing 4 individual baking dishes with butter (oven proof ramekins or cocotte dishes work well). Peel beets and cut into pieces so they can fit comfortably in a food processor.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, mix molasses, eggs, buttermilk, oil and sugar together. Now mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients and then fold in the processed beets.
Set ramekins out on a roasting tray. Divide batter amongst ramekins and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until they have puffed up and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.