My new favourite, this Chocolate Beet Cake is a rich, decadent and highly nutritious treat.
Chocolate and beets are a wonderful combination, especially if you're after a treat that isn't too sweet. This cake has a lot of depth to it, but isn't overly earthy. It contains cacao which is on the bitter side, but the cake doesn't show it.
I find that making it a day or two in advance allows the flavours to settle, the natural sweetness to come out and the dominant flavour switch from beet to chocolate. It is utterly delicious!
In what way is it nutritious?
Beets - truly are a super food. They are known to help detoxify the liver and encourage bile to flow from the gall bladder. This is important because bile is necessary to digest fats as well as remove toxins through the GI tract. The problem is it tends to sit in the gallbladder long term because it is stimulated only in the presence of health fats, and when we're completely relaxed. Beet comes to the rescue in getting bile moving so yes, a super food indeed!
Cacao - is a gut modulator that has been shown to increase good the bacteria lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, while decreasing opportunistic bacteria such as Bacteroides, Clostridium, and Staphylococcus. Cacao (and cocoa/chocolate) was previously a Stage 2 reintroduction but is now in Stage 1 because of its benefits.
Eggs - when tolerated they are another super food. Eggs are a rich source of vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, D, choline and zinc. They're also useful as they make an economical meal. If you have issues with eggs, consider that most chickens are fed soy, so it could be that you are reacting to that and not the eggs at all.
Tigernut flour - is a resistant starch. This means it by-passes the small intestine where most of our digestion is done, and makes its way to the colon where it feeds beneficial bacteria that reside there. These bacteria then make nutrients including butyrate, which supports and repairs the large intestine.
Why should I make this recipe ahead?
If you cut into the cake too soon after making, the dominant flavour will be beets. Let it sit for a day or two for the flavours to mingle, so chocolate becomes your top note with a beautifully fudgey texture. Yum!
Can I make this Chocolate Beet Cake recipe AIP elimination phase compliant?
Full transparency, I tried it and didn't love it. If you want to give it a go, use 2 gelatin eggs (2 tbsp gelatin, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and 4 tbsp hot water) and follow these instructions. Be sure to use carob instead of cacao, and you will need to cook the cake for around 1 hour. If you want to play it safe, try one of these cakes instead.
Is it freezer friendly?
Yes. Consider cutting it into slices before freezing so you can take your time eating your way through it. Your choice of course but, be warned, you run the risk of eating it all at once!
Does it taste very beet-ty?
See the comment above. It is beet-y if you tuck in too soon, so plan ahead. Otherwise the cake has a certain depth and richness to it that doesn't scream "beet"!
Is this Chocolate Beet Cake recipe low FODMAP?
No. Beets are high FODMAP so if you know FODMAPs are an issue, don't attempt this one.
If you give this a try please leave me a comment to let me know how much you love it. And don't forget to tag me on Instagram @healing_family_eats so I can see, and share your creations.
And if you're after more delicious cakes to test your reintroductions on, you'll love my upcoming book The Autoimmune Protocol Reintroduction Cookbook.
Chocolate Beet Cake
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hr + 35 minutes
Makes one 6 inch cake
Print the recipe here!
Note: Cake is best made 1-2 days in advance of serving
12 oz small beets
1/3 cup cacao powder, divided (stage 1 reintroduction)
3/4 cup tigernut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
generous pinch sea salt
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs (Stage 2 reintroduction)
beet powder or cacao powder to dust (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Put a baking sheet in the oven. Line a 6 inch cake tin with parchment paper.
Start by cooking the beets. Choosing small ones will mean they cook quicker. Give your beets a gentle scrub and put into a medium pan with half an inch of water. Cover with a lid and cook for around 1 hour until tender. Allow to cool, then top and tail and slip off their skins.
Put 2 tbsp of the cacao powder into a bowl with the tigernut flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and sea salt.
Put the remaining cacao, honey and 3 tbsp of the olive oil into a double boiler or bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted and set aside to cool.
Purée the beets with the remaining olive oil. Put into a mixer bowl, together with the vanilla extract and chocolate sauce. Beat until smooth.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time and finally the flour mixture. Mix quickly to avoid knocking out too much air.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and place on the hot baking sheet. Bake for around 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin before turning out.
I find that making it a day or two in advance allows the flavours to settle, the natural sweetness to come out and the dominant flavour switch from beet to chocolate. It will be worth the wait!
Put onto a serving plate and dust with beet powder, or cacoa powder if you prefer.
Note: You can also bake the Chocolate Beet Cake in a 7 or 8 inch tin. You will need to cook for around 5 minutes less, and remember you will have a larger but thinner cake.