Four weeks ago I set out to convert each and every one of you into whole-hearted beet and blue cheese lovers. I’m not sure how successful I’ve been, but I have learned a few things along the way. 1. Beets can inadvertently dye a white t-shirt the most lovely shade of purple. 2. Don’t buy cheap pre-crumbled blue cheese, it tastes nothing like a good quality wedge. Spend the extra few dollars, it will make a huge difference. 3. A sizable consumption of beets will turn your urine red. Don’t panic! Think back on what you’ve eaten recently, then laugh at yourself for being such a nervous nelly. 4. Stop throwing out those beet greens. Eat them raw, sauté them with some garlic, throw them in some soup. They’re full of nutrients and deserve a little more love and a little less composting!
As the culminating recipe for my of my month of b & b I wanted to give you something truly unexpected, a recipe that you never saw coming and which perhaps makes you question my sanity. Are you ready? Is the anticipation killing you? Okay here goes. Here is my families all time favorite way to eat beets… as the secret ingredient in chocolate donuts! Sounds crazy right? It’s not. Well okay it’s kinda, but no matter, it’s a fantastic way to get a boost of natural sweetness, give your chocolate goodie a deeper more intense color and enjoy all the health benefits of beets without actually having to commit to eating a beet. I know some of you reading this are positive that you would be able to taste the mere cup and a half of puréed beet in this recipe, and for that very reason you would never consider doing something so unthinkable to a perfectly lovely chocolate donut. Here’s what I have to say to all you sceptical naysayers… change is good, embrace it. I promise that no matter how hard you try to detect the taste of beet in these babies, you won’t be able to. Seriously, once they’ve cooled and been glazed it’s impossible to taste anything but deliciousness.
And it is with that dear reader that I wrap up my month of beets and blues. But never fear, this won’t be the last time I feature a recipe with these ingredients. (I still have a few little gems up my sleeve just waiting for the right reveal.) I hope you enjoyed my little food exploration and discovered a few things about these two foods so near and dear to my heart that a month ago you never knew— including perhaps that you actually love them as much as I do.
Chocolate Cake Donuts (with beets) & Chocolate Ganache
If you don’t tell people about the secret ingredient they’ll never guess it’s anything but good ol’ chocolate glazed donut.
1 1/2 cups puréed beets (about 3 medium)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and divided
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. espresso powder
3 tsp. dark cocoa powder
chocolate ganache glaze (recipe below)
- To make beet puree: Preheat oven to 375°F. Trim the stems off the beets and place them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap them tightly, place the bundle in a pie tin and roast for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the tines of a fork easily pierce the beet. Allow them to cool so that you can handle them, peel off the skins, quarter them and place the beets in a food processor. Process until a smooth puree forms and set aside. (I often roast and puree my beets a day or two in advance.)
- Grease or spray two donut pans and set aside.* In a mixing bowl, cream together 3/4 cup (1 stick plus 4 tbsp.) butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides after each addition.
- In a small saucepan or the microwave, melt together the chocolate and remaining 1/4 cup (4 tbsp.) butter, stirring until smooth. Allow to cool slightly before adding the melted chocolate, beets and vanilla to the creamed butter mixture. Mix well, the batter will appear a bit separated but not to worry.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, espresso powder and cocoa. In two separate batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Fill each doughnut form half way with batter. (I find it’s easiest to pour the batter into a ziplock bag, snip off one corner and pipe it into the pan.) Bake in a 375°F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until they spring back when touched.
- When the donuts are finished baking carefully transfer them to racks and allow them to fully cool, they are VERY crumbly while they are still warm.
- Glaze the tops of each donut with the ganache either by dunking or spreading it on. The ganache will firm up as it sets, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying one right away!
*I have also used this recipe to make a bundt cake which I then drizzled with the ganache. Bake in a well-greased and floured bundt pan for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
*adapted from straight from the farm
It doesn’t get much easier or tastier than this three ingredient ganache.
1/2 tsp vanilla
- In a saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Pour the boiling cream over chocolate and stir until smooth. Add in the vanilla, stir and let cool slightly then glaze away!