magenta. florescent pink dripping over my fingers. i feel kind of like a crazed killer in the year 3048, neon blood weeping on my cutting board. but the thrill of that color. roasted beets! delight! celebration!

so my love for beets really began when i was a junior in college. my mom and dad have always loved beets, as long as i’ve known them. my dad’s face would twinkle with a boyish grin when my nanny (his mother-in-law) shared her famous pickled beets, and i would turn up my nose and snort in that foolish know-it-all sort of way. clearly, i was the one missing out.

but around my junior year of college, i gave them another try. needless to say, i’ve never been quite the same.

but beets in cake? who’d of thought? and, as a lover of beets, of chocolate, of a mess in the kitchen, and hot pink gorgeousness puffing and purring in the oven, how could i resist?

my roommate alanna found a recipe in her cookbook simple in season by mary beth lind and cathleen hockman-wert. these baked brightly and beautifully, and taste like chocolate with a splash of earthiness. although, i’m not sure you’d suspect the beets if you didn’t know better…

i think i’ll ice them with a cream cheese frosting tinted with the punch of some beet juice. if you’re going magenta, you’ve gotta take it all the way.

beet chocolate cake
adapted from mary beth lind and cathleen hockman-wert’s secret chocolate cake

2 cups beets (cooked, peeled, chopped)
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup plain yogurt (i was running low, 3/4 of the cup was yogurt, 1/4 ricotta cheese)
3 eggs
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or nuts

1. preheat oven to 350. puree beets and applesauce in a food processor until smooth. set aside.
2. combine sugar, butter, yogurt, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes. 
3. add beet mixture, cocoa, and vanilla and beat another 90 seconds.
4. combine flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl, whisk together. 
5. gradually add flour mix with beet sugar mixture, stirring with a spoon, only until just blended.
(at this point, the batter sparkled and glittered like ruby fireworks)

6. stir in chocolate chips and/or nuts. i just did the chocolate chips. pour into greased pan or lined cupcake tin. the recipe calls for a 9×13-inch baking pan; i use a cupcake tin and a circular cake pan. while the cake is really thin, i think it will be lovely with some icing. really, though, the cupcakes are beautiful.

7. bake for 20-30 minutes (mine were 25 exactly) if using cupcake tin/cake pan, bake for 40-50 minutes if using 9×13-inch baking pan, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

i am adding my icing tomorrow, will update recipe then. enjoy these purpley beauties.