Old Yeller

You must think the worst of me. I can't seem to keep up with you, and when I do stop by, I'm just recycling old recipes. Wait, I haven't been doing that, I don't think. But it's never too late to start, right?

If it wasn't convincing enough the first time I mentioned it, that chocolate beet cake I made a not so long ago is well worth the effort. So much so, that when I got yellow beets in my veggie box last week, I thought they should have their fair shake at something sweet just the same. Actually, the whole thing was born out of the fact that the beet flavor in the chocolate cake was nearly undetectable. I began to wonder if it was because the chocolate covered something up, or simply that beets are meant to be used in cake. Obviously, I dreamt of the latter.

If you've been with me this whole time now (and, Thank You), you know that I've been trying (sort of) to restrain the creative impulses that lead me to abject failures. All I needed was one glint, one half spark, a little eek of hope that this yellow beet cake thing could be done. And there it was, a recipe for Golden Beet Cupcakes with Dulce De Leche Buttercream. Hooray!

Now, I didn't use that recipe, you should know; it only inspired me to go on with my own show. Here, I went for a plain golden vanilla cake, sans frosting. This cake is even better, more moist, and less beety on the second day, thought I would not think poorly of your impatience. (Admittedly, when warm, the aroma enhances the beet flavor, perhaps too much if not for a serious beet advocate.) A generous scatter of powdered sugar gives this cake a near-powdered-donut character, and you'll be pleased to know that beets just might be meant for cake.

Vanilla Beet Cake
inspired by Red Devil Cake and No Recipes

3 medium yellow beets
3 eggs
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
¾ cups sugar
¾ cups light brown sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9 in square or round pan.

Place beets in a small pot with and add cold water to cover; cook until fork tender (beets can be lifted, but easily fall, from a fork when pierced). Allow beets to cool until able to handle; cut ends from beets and slip skins off beets to peel. Puree beets in a food processor, and set aside (you will need 1½ cups of the puree).

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and Kosher salt. Add the sugars, butter, vanilla, and 1½ cups of beet puree; whisk until thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda; stir well with a whisk or fork. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time, whisking until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean; the cake may look slightly underdone. Cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan. This cake is best if cooled completely before serving, or even the next day.

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