Saturday, December 22, 2012

Baking from the garden

Our garden veggies have leant themselves to many a lunch and dinner: stir fried, roasted, pickled...but all too often, dessert gets overlooked. (Though who could forget the garlic chocolate chip cookies?) But it was the end of the semester & the end of another wonderful season for the growers, and I wanted to do something special to make this gathering memorable. That's where the cake comes in.

Thanks to our hoop tunnels, the ground doesn't freeze. So we can leave beets in the ground and harvest at our leisure. Which is precisely what I did when I got it in my head to make red velvet cake dyed with beets! Surely, this would make the evening a celebration...and if the cake wasn't enough, well...the cream cheese frosting would be!

I researched. There are a lot of blogger/baker/amateur-scientists who have put their minds to the question already. The challenge, according to blogosphere, is to keep the cake acidic, so that the beet juice stays red, rather than browning in the oven.

In the end, our lack of good food processor led me to choose this recipe

this is the batter before we put it in the oven!

It was quite easy to follow. I used whole wheat flour, unrefined sugar, and I only had one cake pan so I couldn't layer it. Therefore, I only needed about half the frosting, so I mixed one 8 oz. package cream cheese with one stick of butter and added confectioner's sugar and vanilla to taste!

this is the cake out of the oven but still awaiting the frosting