For the Amish, baking is an art form, a pleasure, and a way of life. The emotion they bring to baking is at the heart of The Amish Cook's Baking Book (Andrews McMeel, 2009). Together, celebrated Amish cook Lovina Eicher and her editor, Kevin Williams, introduce a new generation to Amish baking. In this excerpt from the book’s chapter on cakes, learn about this tasty traditional cake with a Red Beet Chocolate Cake Recipe.
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Red Beet Chocolate Cake Recipe
I was reluctant to try this cake, as I had a hard time associating red beets with chocolate. I love pickled red beets, but other than that I am not too fond of red beets. But when I took my first bite of this cake I was amazed by the taste. It is a very moist cake and you cannot taste the red beets. Neither can you taste the chocolate chips that were added. My daughter Elizabeth doesn’t care for red beets at all either, but she agreed that you couldn’t taste the beets. She said this is probably the only way she could eat red beets. I gave my youngest children a piece, and they really went for it. This is not a cake you eat warm, so let it cool completely before serving.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups cooked and pureed fresh beets
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sifted powdered sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch cake pan and set aside.
Mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside. Combine the sugar, eggs, and oil in a large bowl. Stir vigorously (those who use electric mixers can use one here on medium speed for 2 minutes). Beat in the beets, melted chocolate, and vanilla.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the beet mixture, beating well after each addition. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan. Cover and let stand overnight to improve the flavor. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Let the cake cool completely and store in a sealed container or cake safe. This cake will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days. Serves 8 to 12
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from The Amish Cook’s Baking Book by Lovina Eicher with Kevin Williams and published by Andrews McMeel, 2009. Buy this book in our store: The Amish Cook’s Baking Book.