Chocolate Beet Cake

IMG_0302-001

I made this chocolate beet cake in honor of the creative and beautiful energy expressed in the video made by Tiger in a Jar. I’ve watched their video so many times, mesmerized by it’s beauty and simplicity, that I’ve pretty much memorized the recipe by now. My roommate and I were talking about why a video like this is so inspiring when it is so simple—it just shows ingredients and the process of making a cake. But we figured it was the old time feel, the comfort and beauty and simplicity, the celebration of food, and the lovely use of beets.

The cake itself is incredibly photogenic, and more importantly, delicious. The beets add moisture and a rich sweetness, one that lingers on your tongue instead of the sharp, quick sweetness you get from refined sugar. Using good, dark chocolate is absolutely essential as this adds the best flavor and pairs perfectly with the beets. I followed the measurements for the recipe, but changed a few of the ingredients like usual. Instead of using white sugar, I used coconut palm sugar. Instead of white flour, 100% whole wheat (I really like the density and chewiness of whole wheat). I used Green&Black’s 72% baking chocolate, which turned out to be just perfect. Also I use vanilla powder instead of the liquid, I like the flavor of the powder more.

A few notes: when I melt chocolate I always do it in a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water, never in the microwave. When most of the chocolate looks melted, I take it off the heat and stir until the rest melts. I boiled the peeled beets in water for about 45 minutes, until they were soft and easy to cut with a fork. Then I pureed the beets in the vitamix with a little beet water (we saved the rest of the beet water for future clothes dying projects). Finally, make sure you let hot ingredients (the melted chocolate and pureed beets) cool some before you add it into the rest of the mix, this way you don’t cook the eggs. I garnished the cake with figs, raspberries and baby beet green leaves because of their beautiful color.

Broiled Eggs with Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan and Gruyere

This dish was inspired by one of my best friends who makes huevos rancheros in tortillas fitted into a muffin cup. The result is a delicious and beautiful little huevos ranchero package filled with egg, black beans, and cheese topped with fresh herbs, avocado, and salsa. These are a little bit different, but basically follow the same idea with a few different ingredients. I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand, but I would definitely add cilantro or basil and some chives to this dish as a finishing touch.

Broiled Eggs with Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan and Gruyere

1 sprouted corn tortilla
1 small eggplant
1 small zucchini
½ red onion
1 clove garlic
Handful of chopped kale and spinach
A few stems of broccoli
Lemon
Sea salt
Olive oil
1 egg
Gruyere
Parmesan
Several cherry tomatoes
Avocado
Crème fraiche or Greek yogurt

Method:

Turn the oven onto broil. Chop the eggplant, zucchini, and red onion. Sauté in a skillet on medium high heat for several minutes, until slightly soft and browned. Add the garlic, kale and spinach. Drizzle olive oil over the greens, and add salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cover the pan for a few minutes and let everything cook and brown, mixing occasionally.

When the greens are wilted and the other vegetables are nicely browned, remove the mixture and place in a bowl. Add a little more oil to the skillet. Warm the tortilla so it becomes pliable. Mold the tortilla into a ramekin or muffin cup and scoop some of the vegetable mixture into the center.

Crack an egg on top of the vegetable mix, place halved tomatoes and cheese on the egg and broil until the egg is cooked to your preference (I have a weak broiler, but I like my eggs runny, so I let them broil for about 5 minutes). Top with chunks of avocado, crème fraiche or Greek yogurt, and good salsa if you have it on hand.