I like cakes that are savory and not too sweet. There have been too many strawberry desserts this valentine’s day weekend. I mean, come on, strawberries?! I wanted something that erred toward seasonal fare and was savory for our dessert this weekend. We had a few beets that have been kicking around the back of the fridge. I picked up a grater on Friday night, after borrowing one from our neighbor’s to make a parsnip cake last weekend, and thought I could put it to use with more root vegetable cakes.
I wasn’t so sure about beets, but a few years ago I started going to the farmer’s market in Copley Square and there was a stand that had huge golden and red beets. I would ride my bike home across the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, beet greens waving in the wind, to go home and roast them in the oven with olive oil. I used to mix them into quinoa with kale and sit on my front porch to read under the beadboard at night. There is no going outside right now, but beets are the perfect winter root vegetable. I was reading a chapter of Fäviken the other day about storing root vegetables in the basement or cellar by covering them with layers of sand. I’m hoping that my application for the community garden near our house gets approved so that I can try this next winter, here is to hoping & blizzard baking. —Austin | Tea & Stories
Grease, flour, and line two 9” cake pans with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Peel and grate four beets. Set aside in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients including all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, tapioca flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla extract to the milk and vinegar ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Slowly fold in beetroots. Pour the batter into prepared 9” pans and bake on the center rack for 25-30 minutes, or until you can cleanly remove a toothpick.
Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out of the pan and cool. While waiting for the cakes to cool completely, mix together the Minimalist Baker’s ingredients for cream cheese frosting and toast hazelnuts for 8-10 minutes, or until they release a nutty aroma.
Remove the dome from each cake layer, frost one layer and sprinkle half the toasted hazelnuts, then frost the exterior and decorate with the rest of the hazelnuts.