I tried to look up a vegan recipe online but there weren't really any that suited our needs. Don't get me wrong, there are a couple out there, but there where a couple things I needed to have in this cake, like espresso (Ryan's request), boiled beetroot rather than roasted so that I could use the water for the liquid in the recipe, and a light but fudgy product. So, I used my favourite chocolate cake recipe, and umphed it up with some luscious beet purée and a long shot of espresso... as well as a couple other changes to try and get the right texture and moisture content.
This cake turned out wonderfully! Ryan couldn't believe how moist but fluffy this cake was. Moist chocolaty goodness, why not? I've also paired the cake with a poppy seed butter cream, a fun spin off of the usual, but nothing to flavourful so that it doesn't outshine the cake.
Time: 30 minutes prep, 30-45 minutes cook
- 4 medium beets, about 400 g, trimmed, peeled and cut into 2" pieces
- 1 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose-flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup beet water, or water
- 1 long espresso (2-4 Tbsp)
- 1/2 canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Poppy Seed Butter Cream
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
- 2 Tbsp soy milk
- 2 - 3 Tbsp poppy seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Wash, trim and peel beetroot (you might want to wear some gloves). Cut into 2" pieces. Place in a medium pot, rinse once, and then cover with about 2" of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender (they should be easily pierced with a fork), about 30 minutes. Check water level every ten minutes, and top up with a bit of water if too much boils off.
- Poor beet water into a glass measuring cup, keep one (1) cup, and discard the rest, or of there is less than a cup, top it up with warm water.
- Purée beetroots with a food processor or an immersion blender. As much as I love my food processor, beets are a bit messy so I tend to choose the stick blender for this task.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, leavening agents and salt.
- While whisking, slowly add in the wet ingredients: beet purée, beet water, espresso, canola oil and vanilla extract. Mix well until smooth.
- Lightly grease your baking pans, either two 9" round baking pans or a bunt pan, and if possible, also line with parchment paper.
- If using the two round pans, equally distribute the batter between them. On a flat surface, bang the pans a couple of times, and then swirl or spin so that there is more batter around the edges of the cake pan than the center. This will help you get flatter cakes rather than really rounded cakes.
- Bake in the oven at 350°F for 30-35 minutes (two pans) or 40-45 minutes (bunt pan).
- Lick spoon (it's tasty. Seriously).
- When done baking, you should be able to pierce the center of the cake with a tooth pick or a knife and have it come out clean.
- Let cool on a wire rack in the cake pans for 30 minutes, then delicately remove from the cake pans, and let cool an additional 30 minutes, still on wire rack, before icing or glazing.
- To make the poppy seed butter cream, whisk together the margarine with the vanilla extract, then slowly whisk in the powdered sugar. Then whisk in the soy milk and the poppy seeds, you can use a little or less soy milk to achieve your desired texture. This can be done by hand, or using an electric mixer, your preference.
- Ice and enjoy.