It’s winter. It’s finally cold. And I just last week did a post on peach pie, for which I’m certain you want to kick my ass. (Just wait until you get to the upcoming post on corn-and-tomato pie. You’ll want to reach through the screen and set me on fire.) So let’s talk the sorts of foods that got our ancestors through much longer, much colder winters than we can conceive of: root vegetables. In particular, the humble beet.
I’m told there are people who do not enjoy the humble beet. (I live with one of them, though I’m pretty sure he just hasn’t realized he loves beets yet.) Those people have nothing to fear from this chocolate cake with remarkably pink frosting, which contains beets. Unfortunately, those of us who love the humble beet have nothing to get excited about from this cake. It doesn’t taste like beets. It is, however, a huge investment of time. (I’m pretty sure “tasting of beets” and “being a huge investment of time” are not opposite sides of the same coin, but let’s pretend for a moment they are. Great!) I made it over the course of three days. Why, you ask? Because it has eleventy million steps, half of which are “let cool fully.” On the first day I roasted my beets and let them cool fully. On the second day I made my cake and let it cool fully. And on the third day I iced it. See? Three days. Given that the beets have to cool and then the cake has to cool I don’t see how you make it in less than two days, but I guess you could just not let the beets cool before working with them. You Have Options.
As far as the frosting goes, I kept with Joy’s suggestion of a cream cheese frosting but found her recipe completely terrifying, not to mention a bit pretentious. 4 – 5 cups powdered sugar? Really? Does she actually want to just destroy people’s teeth whole cloth with one recipe? I instead found a version of cream cheese frosting at Simply Recipes that was less enamored of itself and less inclined to require visits to the emergency dentist than Joy’s recipe and worked from there. I think I wound up using less than a cup of powdered sugar, though I honestly don’t remember, and it was delicious. I recommend you start with around 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar and work up, adding until you reach your desired sweetness. Cream cheese frosting should be tangy, folks. Take note.
Notes & Verdicts
Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting by Joy the Baker
Notes: With the exception of overhauling the frosting recipe, I changed nothing.
Verdict: This is cake is incredibly pretty (seriously, beets give great color) and quite impressive-looking – probably moreso if you’re better at frosting than me – and it tastes good, but it’s not worth the effort. Maybe you don’t find roasting beets and peeling beets and grating beets and making layer cake and frosting said layer cake to be a lot of effort, but I feel that applying frosting to cake is arts and crafts, and I’ve always violently hated arts and crafts. So if you think this sounds like a fun project that wouldn’t be more work than you signed up for, you’ll have a very nice cake at the end. (One which, I should add, tastes much better after it’s been sitting fully frosted for a day.) But I feel that a cake this involved should taste like unicorn tears. B