This Valentine’s Day I was a red and pink doily framed heart. It may be a ‘Hallmark’ holiday, but it’s all about love folks! I’ve always embraced it, ooy-gooie with X and O sap on top. I had the day off, thank goodness, could you imagine getting called in to be the substitute teacher for a class on Valentine’s Day? Uncontrollable candy highs, fruit punch died lips, a sea of Justin Bieber valentine card crush confessions, a student nervously waiting for something special from someone special-ok, maybe it would have been a blast. See, I’m truly a sucker for the spirit of it all, however corporate.
It may surprise you, but I managed to celebrate in fine fashion just fine all by myself. With a sparkling kitchen to undo, I had a party of uncontrollable joy, died lips of chocolate cake batter, happily baking something special for special someones, in a Bieber free zone. On the menu, Cholcolate Beet Cake. The girls of Green Fire Farm came across this recipe in Farmer John’s Cookbook. It become a farm favorite for birthdays and potlucks. There is something magically earthy in this blend of rich chocolate and ruby red beet. Sexy, dreamy, aphrodisiacal also seem to be highly appropriate adjectives. Not for the faint of heart, a cake fit for a Saint.
Chocolate Beet Cake
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups or mor pureed cooked beets (about three medium beets)
2 cups flour ( I like to use half white, half wheat)
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
powdered sugar for top
** If you’re feeling spicy, the farm girls and I have added hot chili flakes to this recipe with yummy success!!
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat pan or 10 cup bunt, with oil and dust with flour.
2. Wash and top beets. Cut into pieces for faster cooking. I like to steam my beets so that color and flavor don’t leach out, you can also boil if you like. Cook beets until they are soft enough to puree in a blender or food processor.
3. Use double boiler to melt chocolate. I simply use a metal bowl over a pot. Fill pot with water and bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Put chocolate and 1/4 cup oil in top metal bowl. Heat until chocolate melts.
4. Combine eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat until fluffy. Slowly beat in remaining 3/4 cup oil, melted chocolate, pureed beets and vanilla.
5. Mix in a large bowl flour, baking soda and salt. Gently combine with chocolate beet mixture. Pour batter into pan and lick spoon!
6. Bake until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 45-30 minutes. Allow 30 minutes to cool. Dust with powered sugar and enjoy with the ones you love.
What goes around comes around, and the love that I had cultivated boomeranged right on back. For Valentine’s dinner Jonathan took me to the infamous Madeline’s Cafe in Dunsmuir. We shared a beautiful bottle of 2010 Green Fire Farm Cabernet Sauvignon and an exquisite four course meal! It was one of those meals that leaves you completely aglow, a taste bud party, culminating in utter digestion relaxation. And in the aura of our happiness, the waiter informed us that an anonymous couple thought we were ‘so sweet’ and had picked up our tab. WHAT!? What an unbelievably dear act. Ah, the love circle still spins, watch out, maybe you’re next?