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JohnT

Beetroot in a Chocolate Cake

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I have heard over the years of bakers using beetroot in chocolate cakes to "enrich" them. I have never done this and I am not too fond of beetroot in its various forms (a childhood "thing"). However, I have been requested to bake a chocolate cake using "beetroot juice" in the recipe - the person requesting the cake even supplied me with the recipe!

 

Right, this is a first time for me doing this and I need to make a sample cake to make sure it results in an edible cake. The recipe calls for 250ml (a metric cup) beetroot juice. So my question is, how would I produce a cup of this beetroot juice? Just wiz a few raw beets in a blender and strain out the juice? Do I boil the beets first or use them raw? Ignorance is sometimes bliss - but sometimes not.

 

Help with this dilemma would be appreciated for this beet ignorant sod in "Darkest Africa".

John.

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Beet is/was used to color our Red Velvet cakes in lieu of food coloring. https://food52.com/blog/15776-an-all-natural-red-velvet-cake-that-s-truly-red

Vivian Howard did one with chocolate on her show here http://www.achefslifeseries.com/episodes/34

 

recipe:  http://www.achefslifeseries.com/recipes/47


Edited by heidih add Food52 link (log)
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Not a chocolate cake, so I know this isn't what you asked but Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh have a Beetroot, Ginger & Sour Cream Cake in their new book, Sweet, that uses raw, fresh, grated beets.  

The combination of beets and ginger appeals to me so I've been intrigued.  A version of the recipe is available here on David Lebovits' blog

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I looked it up in my copy of Bo Friberg's The Professional Pastrychef. He says that 1 pound of fresh beets, peeled and put through an actual juicer, will yield about 1 1/4 cups. If you don't have a juicing machine, he suggests shredding them as finely as possible and then press the juice through a sieve (I suppose muslin or cheesecloth would work, too). Yield will be lower if you do it manually, but he doesn't give any indication of how much. He does note that freshness makes a difference to the yield as well, so it's probably one of those "try it and see how much you get" kind of scenarios. It's springtime in SA right now, so I suspect any beets you find will have been in storage for some time. Perhaps start with 1 kg, then you're pretty likely to have enough when you're done. 

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Thanks all for your pointers and @chromedome for going back to your reference books. Fortunately, we are in a Mediterranean climate and beetroot is available on the markets basically all year round - the markets are full of it at the moment. I do not have a juicer but will come up with a way of shredding and pressing to get a cup of the juice and see how the cake turns out. I do not enjoy baking cakes, but will give this a test in the next few days to see if it turns out as the recipe claims.

 

If I remember, I will click off a few photographs of the results and post them here. John.

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Nigel Slater has a recipe for "An extremely moist chocolate-beet cake" in Tender, A cook and his vegetable patch, p54 in the US edition.  I have made this cake only once but I can highly recommend it.  Slater has more than one beet cake recipe, so be sure to get the right one.

 

Now I am wanting it again.

 

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