This super-moist cake may be served plain or topped with a spoonful of Whipped Chocolate Ricotta, whipped cream or frozen yogurt. If you use a standard 12-cup Bundt pan, reduce baking time to 45 minutes. SERVES 10
• 4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
• 1 cup vegetable oil, divided
• 3 large eggs
• 1 1/2 cups evaporated cane sugar
• 2 cups beet puree*
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Chocolate mint sprigs, Whipped Chocolate Ricotta, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-cup Bundt pan.
2. Place chocolate and ¼ cup oil in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
3. Beat eggs in a large bowl at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy. Slowly add remaining oil, melted chocolate, beets and vanilla.
4. Whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to the chocolate mixture; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan and place on wire rack until completely cool.
*Note: To make beet puree, drain and process 2 (15-ounce) cans of sliced beets. To make fresh beet puree, scrub 3 to 4 medium beets with a vegetable brush and trim stems to 1 inch. Place in a large saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, or until the beets are tender. Remove beets from heat; drain, rinse and cool completely. Slice beets and puree in a blender or food processor.
Gina Mohammed, Ph.D., is a plant physiologist who researches medicinal and other specialty uses of plants. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 for a detailed reference list.
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