Chocolate-Beet Cakes with Candied Beets and Rose Petals
Try this mouthwatering chocolate-beet cake, from chef Johnny Iuzzini's "Dessert FourPlay," for an unforgettable Valentine's Day dessert.
The Martha Stewart Show, February Winter 2009
For the Candied Beets
- 2 cups Johnny Iuzzini's Simple Syrup (http://www.marthastewart.com/284134/simple-syrup)
- 2 bunches assorted baby beets (red, golden, and candy-striped), peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick (preferably on a mandoline)
- Sugar, for coating
For the Cake
- 3 large beets
- Coarse salt
- Unsalted butter, for pan
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more for pan
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped and melted
For the Raspberry-Beet Sauce
- 18 ounces fresh raspberries
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon powdered apple pectin
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Vanilla Whipped Cream (http://www.marthastewart.com/257113/vanilla-whipped-cream)
- Crystallized Rose Petals (http://www.marthastewart.com/257114/crystallized-rose-petals)
- To make the candied beets: Divide simple syrup evenly between three medium saucepans. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add each variety of beets to a different saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until beets are translucent, about 1 hour. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper. Place sugar in a shallow dish. Gently drain beets, taking care not to break them, and dredge in sugar. Transfer to baking sheet and place in a cold oven to dry overnight. Beets may be kept in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- To make the cake: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim the tops from beets, leaving about 1 inch of the stems. Line a large piece of aluminum foil with a piece of parchment paper; make a bed of coarse salt in the center. Place beet on salt and tightly wrap foil to enclose. Transfer to oven and roast until beets are very tender, about 1 hour.
- When beets are cool enough to handle, peel and cut into large pieces. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor; process until very smooth. Strain and measure out 1/2 cup for the cake; reserve remaining beet puree for the sauce.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan; coat with sugar, tapping out excess, and set aside.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon salt onto a piece of parchment paper; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together sugar, egg, and oil on medium-high speed until pale and light. Beat in vanilla and slowly add flour mixture; beat until well combined. Add chocolate and beat until well combined. Add 1/2 cup beet puree and beat until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and rap on the work surface to remove air bubbles. Transfer to oven and bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes of baking, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes total. Let cool completely before removing from pan.
- To make the raspberry-beet sauce: Place the raspberries in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Strain, discarding solids, and measure out 1 cup of puree.
- Place 1 cup raspberry puree in a medium saucepan along with 1/4 cup reserved beet puree and vanilla bean and seeds. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
- In a small bowl, mix together sugar and apple pectin; add to saucepan and return to a boil. Strain sauce into a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Transfer to refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- To serve: Using a 3 1/2-inch heart-shaped cutter, cut out six heart shapes from the cake. Using a 1 1/2-inch heat-shaped cutter, cut out the center of each 3 1/2-inch heart. Dust large hearts with confectioners' sugar; place one on each of six plates. Fill the center of each heart with raspberry-beet sauce and drizzle some of the sauce on the plate. Lean the smaller heart against the larger heart.
- Using a soup spoon, scoop up a mounded spoonful of vanilla whipped cream; slide second soup spoon on top of first, with spoons pointing in opposite directions. Spoon whipped cream back and forth a few times, scraping it into a small, neat egg shape. Place on one of the plates. Repeat process five times until each plate has a scoop of whipped cream. Crush a rose petal over each plate and serve immediately.
© 2014 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. All rights reserved.