Chocolate Beetroot Cake
Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Lacquer Chocolate Glaze is an eggless layered cake. It is super moist and gives a deep red colour to the cake. This makes a great alternative to using red velvet cake also without adding colour.
I had 6 beets sitting in my refrigerator. Every Sunday V would give me those scowling looks when he would browse through the vegetable basket before his weekly trip to the veggie market (mandi). Well you guys also don’t scowl, it is not my fault!
The story goes, when I told V that since now our little angel is starting her solids, please bring some beets. For next 3 weeks 2 beets came and sat happily in the basket. How do I explain to V that his little daughter is not gobbling up the beets as fast as he is getting them. Honestly, do I need to explain! I made beet salad & veggies from the 2 beets but how many continuously even can we consume. We all like beets but it is a veggie which we eat but not on a regular (read, weekly) basis.
So what do I do with remaining 4! I googled for some dessert recipe with beets & I couldn’t believe there were 100’s of results waiting to be explored. In the end I settled for this recipe from the book Vegan Table at Epicurious.
I replaced canola oil with vegetable oil, used dark chocolate in place of chips. I also increased the quantity as I read the comments of readers that they added chocolate chips to give the extra zing of chocolate. Since my earlier Truffle Cake was a hit, I added instant coffee powder here as well. I increased the quantity of vanilla essence as I use the regular market variety & not the pure one.
I wanted to pipe some rosettes using crusting buttercream but ever since I saw this glaze, I have been dreaming of this delicious & shiniest chocolate glaze. This glaze has been taken from Rose Levy Beranbaum’ Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. So I decided to forgo rosettes & let the glaze take over my kitchen. Refer his tutorial or Rose’s for detailed instructions on how to pour glaze on the cake.
When I read the recipe, I had 3 obstacles to overcome – instant-read thermometer, gelatin & corn syrup. The task didn’t prove that difficult & I was happily on my way to making this glaze. I don’t have instant-read thermometer so I went by the timings given by Cenk.
I have been skipping corn syrup in most recipes till now as it is not readily available. But this time I knew that this amazing shine & pouring consistency is in part due to corn syrup. So I decided to make one on my own.
I replaced gelatin with same quantity of agar-agar. The activation of agar-agar is different than gelatin, so take care while doing so. It requires rapid boiling since the recipe requires boiling of glaze (the process is given below), while the gelatin requires chilling. But the quantity of agar-agar varied greatly if used in form of flakes & this is where my glaze went for a toss. As per conversion 1 tsp powdered gelatin can be replaced by 1 Tbsp flaked agar-agar, so I was suppose to use 2 Tbsp i.e. 30 gms of agar-agar. I was quite skeptical as half the amount is used to set a cheesecake. So I decided to use only 20 gms, but alas this was also quite a bit for a glaze. I increased the water to 1 cup to soak the China-grass. So instead of being a glaze, it became a thick ganache & didn’t even strain well after being allowed to cool for 15 mins.
My daughter has not been sleeping well for last few days during the day & this day also she decided to cry for attention, so after this fiasco of glaze I didn’t get time to re-make it & hastily spread the same ganache cum glaze on the cake allowed it to set for few hours. I was going to serve this cake as a dessert for some friends after dinner & was hoping that it does the job!
But despite this hiccup the cake was a delight to eat – perfectly moist in every bite, no hint of beetroot anywhere & chocolatey! Just yum! the surprise fan was our friends’ 1 year old son, who gobbled this up as fast as he could, I happily packed up the remaining for his snack. :) When kids eat your home-made goodies, it’s all the appreciation needs for the effort gone in!
When this cake came out of the oven, my first thought was that this is the most beautiful cake I have ever made – deep cherry red in color, it rose perfectly & evenly, completely cooked throughout, easily de-molded. I just wanted to frost it up with whipped cream & serve as a more elaborate dessert. I know this is going to be my go-to cake & I would be using it quite often at my place! And I definitely would be making the glaze again with much lesser china grass & see how my second attempt goes and will keep you posted. :)
Chocolate Beetroot Cake
for the cake
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ cup brown sugar packed
- 2 cup beetroot puree boiled & pureed, 4 medium size beets
- 125 gram dark chocolate melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
for lacquer chocolate glaze – makes 1⅓ cup
- 20 gram flaked agar-agar veg gelatin
- ⅔ cup sugar granulated
- 1⅓ cup water room temperature
- 1 Tbsp+1 tsp corn syrup
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
for the corn syrup
- 2 cup sugar granulated
- 3 cup water
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar or lemon juice or white vinegar
for the cake
- Pre-heat oven at 190 C. Grease an 8″ round pan.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together oil & brown sugar. Add beets, melted chocolate, coffee and vanilla. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, sieve flour, baking powder & salt, mix well.
- Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 mins, till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 mins. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
for lacquer chocolate glaze
- In a saucepan, whisk together sugar & 1/3 Cup water over medium heat. When the sugar melts, take off the heat. With the help of the whisk, mix in corn syrup, followed by cocoa. You will have a smooth & glossy mixture.
- Stir in cream with a spatula & return pan to medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boiling point.
- Simultaneously, in a small saucepan soak china-grass in 1 Cup water for about 10 minutes. Heat china-grass on low flame till melts completely. Immediately mix hot china-grass in the boiling cream mixture. Ensure the cream should boil at the same time as china-grass, so that thye can be immediately mixed together.
- Remove from heat & cool until the instant thermometer reads 122-140 F, for about 15 mins.
- Strain the mixture into a liquid cup & let it cool till the instant thermometer registers 80 F, about 1 hour. If you are making it ahead then make sure to re-heat to 85F as glaze will thicken.
for assembling the cake
- Place the cake on a wire rack set over a large rimmed baking sheet or large heavy duty aluminum foil to catch the glaze.
- Pour the glaze in an even circular motion on top, starting with the sides, allowing it to cascade over & coat them completely. Start pouring in the middle and as glaze starts going down the sides, pour the glaze about an inch from the edge to help cover the sides evenly. Reapply if needed. 1+1/3 Cups is sufficient to cover the cake in one go, but if required you can use the glaze accumulated in the sheet.
- Allow the cake to sit for about an hour until the glaze stops dripping. Move the cake to a serving platter.
- Allow the glaze to set for 4 hours for the fullest flavor. You can store the cake in air-tight container at room temp for 2 days or for 5 days in refrigerator. But make sure to bring it to room temp prior to serving. (a brief wave of hair dryer on set on low heat, will bring the shine back.)
for the corn syrup
- In a saucepan combine all ingredients over medium heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer.
- Put the lid on the pan & cook for 3 mins.Uncover & cook, stirring often. To test drop a little in a glass of cold water, if it sinks to bottom of water, it is ready.
- Cool the syrup & store at room temp. It can be stored upto 2 months.