I mean, yes, that pudding cake recipe is good and it does effectively include beet puree (which THANK GAWD because I can't hardly manage the influx of beets from the farmshare even with my favorite stacked recipe on hand), but the whole process is a little needy for me, Lazy Baker to the Stars.
See, in order to effectively produce these pudding-y chocolate cakes, one must have things like a billion eggs (4) two big bars of proper chocolate on hand, the desire to employ the services of individual ramekins and then, at that rate, four or fewer people to eat the cakes.
So, yes, I've stretched this recipe to accommodate dinners with 6 people, but there were unequal portion sizes and some of the diners (me) became cranky when it was clear they'd be receiving one of the smaller pudding cakes. Sad.
But the results were undeniable - beet puree makes chocolate even more delicious.
Really, people. Why don't you ever believe me? I'm not even bullshitting you.
Here's why: If you're like me about chocolate (just go with me here), you prefer it to be not too sweet, but still rich and decadent. Which is why normal chocolate cakes, cupcakes and the like are usually too sweet because they are made with mounds of sugar and whatever. But the beet puree totally fixes that. The cake is enhanced with a complementary flavor rather than more sugar, which results in a really fucking good chocolate cake that's light on the tooth-cracking sweetness of your typical chocolate cake.
But COME ON, individual ramekins? Baking moments before serving? Pain.In.The.Ass.
So, I did a little experiment over the (rainy, shitty, cold, windy, anti-gardening weather) weekend wherein I set out to try two things:
- See if I could successfully create an easy, delicious and not-too-sweet chocolate cake by swapping beet puree for oil in a boxed cake mix.
- Pioneer Woman's purported Best Frosting
So, like, no Greek Yogurt for Butter swapping here. This is not the time nor the place for such shenanigans.
I am now happy to announce, however, that both experiments were successful.
On the part of the frosting, we can all just go, "Duh, bitch." and move on because since when is one of PW's recipes a dud? Like, never. It's a really good frosting and, keeping to my Save the Teeth mantra, it's not super sweet and overly sugary like most frostings, homemade or store-bought.
Also, an aside, we decided it would be rully good on a carrot cake, and so I have been tasked with that experiment. I'm also starting to feel like my neighbors and husband are Tom Sawyering me on this one, so I just want it known that I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE UP TO, PEOPLE, AND I WON'T BE MADE A FOOL. So, you know, any carrot cake with PW's frosting that comes about will be a result of my latent desire to make one and not because of your subliminal suggesting.
The cake though? Well, the cake was easy like Sunday morning and as delicious as whatever day is known to be delicious. Thursday? I don't know. Maybe Thursday is a renowned day of deliciousness somewhere.
Anyway, the cake came out amazingly well and the substitutions were awesomely easy. So easy, in fact, that I decided to go all the way with this cake experiment (not like THAT, you whores) and actually make a traditional layer cake. Something I've not made or had in quite some time due to the rise in popularity of the cupcake.
Like cupcakes, only bigger and, consequently, better.
Like cupcakes, only bigger and, consequently, better.
Don't you think they've been paraded about a bit much? I mean, fine, they're small cakes, which I suppose can be cute, but let us all agree that this is not a unique idea anymore and we can stop gushing about OH LOOK HOW CUTE AND SPECIAL when someone produces them for an event. We've all seen cupcakes. We've all eaten cupcakes. And no magic life-changing event ever followed. So let's stop acting like they're little spongy fairies here to grant us three wishes and try acting like fucking adults.
Adults who want to decide just how big their slice of cake is rather than having it pre-determined by the size limitations imposed by a paper wrapper.
I found a dark chocolate boxed cake mix at my neighborhood market and promptly followed the directions for baking this mundane beast exactly as called for by the box save for the 1/2 cup of oil.
In that case, I subbed out the oil for the same amount of roasted beet puree, mixed it up with the Kitchenaid and baked two cake pans' worth for the called-for amount of time.
The result? Um, perhaps better than if I'd made it with the oil.
This cake was way good. Even had all those gross attributes that people like to use to describe cakes. Specifically, it was mo*st.
I won't say the word. It's too gross.
Also, though, to employ a snobbish food term that I don't *really* understand, it had a nice crumb. To put it in my terms: it was sproingy without being dry and it wasn't dense at all - where you feel like your slicing into a giant block of fudge.
And there wasn't any actual beet flavor to be found in this cake, even though the four of us tasting it (or shoveling it into thy face, as some *might* have been) consider ourselves wise in the way of beets thanks to the beet-happy farmshare we split.
There was no mint involved in this cake. It just needed a hairdo.
So, my thought now is why I would ever go back to adding oil to any chocolate cake mix when I have plenty of beets around to do the job and also to give me a nice healthy excuse for eating chocolate cake. Even better than Bill Cosby's reasoning, I'd wager.
Now, sure, making boxed cake mixes isn't probably the best idea given all the What the F is this? on their ingredients list, but this was my experiment for making a fast and easy chocolate cake with beets rather than one for making a fast, easy and containing no unpronounceable ingredients chocolate cake with beets.
That's next time.
And I will probably use PW's frosting recipe for that, too, because it's good. Good enough, even, to ignore the fact that it uses a boatEFFINGload of butter.
Wow. That chick likes her butter.
What I'm saying here, folks, is that the Cake Doctor cookbooks have been missing the boat on some stuff, and chocolate cakes can be improved in the healthy department by using beet puree for oil.