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Now’s the time for a cake that can’t be beet

“A Cake In the House” – this is how Mennonite country’s favourite foodie and author, Edna Staebler, spoke of some of her amazing cake recipes. She talked about cake like it is something you should have in the house every day.  For instance, if a friend calls to come over for a coffee, the obvious thing to do is to quickly get a cake in the oven to enjoy.

Well this was sort of an inspiration for our ‘Cake in the House.’ A cake that uses some unusual ingredients that are season right now, a cake that can be served with coffee or as a decadent dessert, and a cake that keeps moist and fresh for days ‘in the house.’ Edna would say, however, that the cake is so good that it could never last for more than a day.

What we wanted to do was to integrate some of the seasonal vegetables from the market and from gardens. Sometimes you just have so much of one thing that you don’t know what to do with it, and one of those things is beets. We’ve used the glorious beet before in such things as traditional borscht soup.  Now it was time to be untraditional and get the dark, earthy beet in a cake.

Beets, along with sweet carrots in this cake are the secret to its decadent moisture. Carrots right now are at their peak – much sweeter after the first frost.

Beet, Carrot and Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup grated beet
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour

Now according to some (or most!) a cake isn’t a cake unless it is chocolate. The chocolate in this cake enriches it even more, and really compliments the flavour of the beets. We’ve topped it with a chocolate ganache icing, which is equal parts of 35% cream and chocolate. Here, it is important to use really good quality chocolate. Lindt is great, and available at Vincenzo’s in Waterloo, and at other specialty bakeshops or bulk stores.
You can also double this entire recipe and bake it in a 9×13 pan, if you have a lot of friends coming over!

Grease an eight-inch springform cake pan (butter bottoms and sides, place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom and butter again);

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and oil; Add carrot and beet and eggs; mix well; Sift dry ingredients into wet; mix well;

Scrape into springform pan and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean; cool completely; remove from pan;

Serve drizzled with chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup 35% cream
  • 1 cup 70% dark Lindt chocolate
  • Heat cream just to boiling;
  • Pour over chocolate and stir until all melted;
  • Drizzle over cake slices, or cool ganache slightly and ice the entire cake.

Heat cream just to boiling;
Pour over chocolate and stir until all melted;
Drizzle over cake slices, or cool ganache slightly and ice the entire cake.

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