Beet Caraway Spiced Chocolate Cake

Thursday, March 09, 2017

It is that time of the month when an MFB Challenge is due. This time we were asked to cook any recipe from our "stashed - must try -will do - have to try again" or commonly called the scrapbook. The scrapbook that has has been holding all our cooking dreams in the form of prints, cut-outs, handwritten, scribbled, tin wrappers with a recipe, carton panels, etc. I chose to make this Beet Chocolate cake that I had recorded in my "recipe diary" where I have handwritten recipes since the last 5 years.

Beet Caraway Spiced Chocolate Cake

Like always there is a story behind this recipe too. :-)

Beet Caraway Spiced Chocolate Cake

A couple of years ago, I was a Somewhat OK Cook and zero in baking skills, so much that I dreaded halving, deviating from a cake recipe. I used to bake cakes with the exact quantity the recipe calls for because there was "science" involved in baking and I did not want to tamper with that. :-)

I first attempted to make this Beet Chocolate cake for F's birthday two years ago and used the microwave with no idea how long to cook. I ended up with an unappetizing and inedible cake with an uncooked centre and dried up sides. :-(  I was trying too hard to be that wife who bakes a cake for hubby dear with beets (which I was told is a rich aphrodisiac ;-)) - while my intentions were pure, the results were dangerously awkward.

I never re-try when I fail. I move on.

While I was skimming through that recipe diary looking for a dish to make for this challenge, two things crossed my mind - One, I have to make this Beet Chocolate cake again. Two, I need to get back to hand writing recipes. There are so many memories associated when you see your hand written notes! Don't you think so?

Beet Caraway Spiced Chocolate Cake
I forgot to mention about these saucers that I have been using recently. These are as old as me that I looted from my grandma's home. :-D 

I baked this Beet Caraway Spiced Chocolate Cake on my birthday last month because it is a day to remind me how special I am. Now that I am at a better place with my skills, I took the liberty to make quite a few improvements to this recipe and it was a  mind-blowing winner. Even though I planned to give away half of it to the neighbour, but alas! because the following day was a weekend, we ate them all. :-D

The cake has beets in the form of puree and juice along with cocoa and caraway. Hence, this is a beet rich cake and you will get a mild taste of spiced beet that complements the cream cheese superbly. I would have gone for chocolate ganache but considering F's love for cream cheese, I chose to add that instead. We never stop thinking of them, right? even when this is baked for me!




To be honest, I was totally surprised by the outcome. Initially, I had no plans to blog about this because I don't enjoy stove-top baking but F insisted that this is too good to not be part of my blog. So here it is...

Beet Caraway Spiced Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS

2 medium beetroot
Enough water to boil (2" above the beets)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Dry items: 
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, Hershey's 100% natural unsweetened
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt

Wet items:
1 large egg
6 tablespoon warm beet juice
2 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoon beet puree

oil to grease the pan
Baking paper cut in rounds to line the pan

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/3 cup cream cheese spread (I did not have cream cheese)
1 tablespoon softened butter
3/4 cup confectioner sugar or icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven 180-degree celsius or pre-heat the cooker on a flat pan on medium to low flame
  • Grease a 7" round cake pan with oil and line with a cut out round baking paper 
Prepare the beet puree and juice:
  1. Peel, wash, and chop the beets roughly into bite size 
  2. Boil the beets in enough water for 20 to 30 minutes, or until completely cooked
  3. Drain with a bowl under the colander to collect the beet juice and keep aside
  4. Puree the drained beet along with caraway seeds using a blender and keep aside 
Prepare the batter: 
  1. Mix the dry items in a deep large bowl, ensuring no lumps 
  2. Wire whisk lightly the wet items in another medium bowl 
  3. Add the wet mixture into the dry and whisk using electric whisker on medium speed until everything is incorporated
  4. Pour the batter into the cake pan and tap the pan to level the batter 
Bake the cake: 
  1. Carefully place the pan inside the cooker and close with the lid ensuring to remove the weight/regulator/whistle. You can take the pressure cooker off the pan and place the cake pan conveniently and then put back on the pan on fire. 
  2. Bake/cook? on a medium flame for first 10 minutes and then reduce to lowest flame and let it bake until the waft of the chocolate aroma fills the kitchen. You should also look out for the tiny water droplets that pop out of the regulator - a sign to check the doneness of the cake. 
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Mine took almost  1 and 1/2 hours. The centre of the cake takes longer to cook as my pan was a deep one. It is better to bake in low temp for a longer time than high temp shorter time. (oven bakers - may have to check the cake within 45 to 50 mins and adjust accordingly)
  4. Remove the cake pan and let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Gently remove the cake from the pan, and discard baking paper. 
  5. Let the cake cool completely.
  6. Cut the cake horizontally into two equal halves. 
  7. Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of the beet juice on top of the base half. You can also squeeze some chocolate syrup here. 
Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting

While the cake is baking, make the frosting and chill it until needed
  1. In a bowl whisk together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla, 
  2. add the confectioner sugar and continue to whisk until everything is incorporated.
  3. Cover with cling wrap for at least an hour before using.
Frosting:
  1. Spread one-half of the cream cheese frosting on top of the first layer. Ensure the cake is completely cooled before you spread the frosting to avoid runny frosting.
  2. Place the other half of the cake on this and spread the remaining cream cheese frosting 
  3. Sprinkle some beet juice on top and spread it using a fork or butter knife
  4. Serve this Beet Caraway Spiced Chocolate double layered cake with a rich, decadent cream cheese frosting to celebrate you

Beet Caraway Spiced Chocolate Cake

NOTES:
  • You will not be using all of the puree and juice in this cake. You can make something else with the leftover. 
  • I chose to add the Caraway seeds while blending so that the drained juice is free of the flavour and the puree holds most of the caraway flavour
  • Replace the cream cheese spread with cream cheese for the frosting and you can reduce the icing sugar too
  • The cake tastes great both in room temp and cold 
  • Refrigerate the leftover covered in a airtight box 
With the remaining beet juice, I prepared Kraiza and the puree went into pooris. :-)


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