I wanted my beet cake story to have a better ending so I have been procrastinating writing about it. But the truth shall set you free, or so they say. I bought a bunch of beets at the farmers market a couple weeks ago and I roasted them on the grill until they were soft. I peeled them and they were ready for salads. My favorite way to eat beets is to serve them roasted and sliced over spinach with balsamic vinegarette, pine nuts and goat cheese. But this was a rather hefty bunch of beets there are only so many salads that Dave and i can eat during the shelf life of a bunch of roasted beets. (Jack famously tossed a beet over the fence once -al fresco – to avoid eating it and I got the messsage.)
I had also been wanting to try a red velvet style cake that was light on the red dye number 7 and heavy on the beet juice, but alas, I ended up with quite a few golden beets in my bunch and it wasn’t meant to be. So I went with Martha Stewart’s chocolate beet cake. Now aside from one lemon spatchcocked chicken, Martha has never steered me wrong. But I got a tiny bit suspicious when I read the ingredient list and saw “salt”. Not 1 teas. salt, or a pinch or a dash, just salt. That looks like a proofreading error to me, and if no one proof read this, and there are no comments, then what in Gods name was I getting myself into? A chocolate beet cake, that’s what. I saw that within the recipe, it did mention how much salt to use, but I forgot the salt until a later point in the recipe regardless. I worried a bit, because the thing about a cake is that it’s hard to taste the end result until it’s too late. Dinner is over and everyone is staring at you.
So I bucked up, put on my maxi dress and high heels, put the cake in the cake carrier and walked a mile or wahtever to the party. To my delight this ended up being one of those parties where the host says “bring an appetizer, a side or dessert” and everyone brings dessert. It calls to mind a certain sesame street skit. But no one complains too much when everyone brings dessert, especially not the person who brought the beet cake.
Long story short, I brought home only half a beet cake, which wasn’t bad considering it was competing with strawberry short cake, two pies, and other goodies. The cake was pretty, and moist and sweet and chocolately, and it had a slight beet taste, or maybe a beet aftertaste. Some of the kids liked it, some of the adults liked it. At home, the beet cake was more appealing because it wasn’t competing with anything else. The boys had a slice and liked it. So when we had chicken tagine for dinner and everyone ate their chicken and no one wanted their chick peas or sweet potatos, Dave held out the beet cake like a delicious carrot. But the siren song of the beet cake wasn’t quite enough to entice anyone to eat their veggies, so it was like a double insult. No one wanted dinner and the dessert wasn’t worth the suffering.
Next thing I knew, I was throwing away the remains of a moldy beet cake. Never before in my life has a cake gotten moldy. I will admit to having a sliver of cake with my coffee for breakfast occasionally, but I did not do that with the beet cake. The icing was perfect, and it did help overcome the beet aftertaste, but only once you were already eating it. The thought of the beet aftertaste before you took a bite was a little harder to overcome apparently. Or maybe the problem was that the cake was on the counter in my newer cake carrier, as opposed to the see through one I often use. Out of side, out of mind. No one was beeting down the door for more cake.