Every now and then, I whip up gnocchi with brown butter and fresh sage drizzle. Add a bit of fresh parmesan and cracked black pepper and my mouth is singing. Or I’ll roast beets and toss with some goats cheese and walnuts. Often I’ve wondered if I could translate the sage/butter/cheese/beets/walnuts into a cake and finally I did. I know what you’re thinking. Betty’s finally lost her marbles. She’s trying to make cake from a salad.
Well, I did and it was sublime. The golden colour from the beets gave the cake a beautiful soft golden hue. The taste was sweet yet subtly earthy, crunchy yet creamy. The closest thing I can compare this to is carrot cake but less sweet with loads more elegance.
However, like carrot cakes not tasting like a carrot, the beet cake doesn’t taste like beets. The sage brown butter cream cheese frosting, livens up the cake by adding a familiar and posh edge. Perfect with a cuppa coffee or warm cider by a fire. It’s an ideal cake for the chillier months.
- 2 1/2 Cups (325 g) unbleached AP Flour (bleached is ok)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon all spice
- 1 1/2 cups (350 g) packed brown sugar
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 cup canola oil
- 400 g (about 3 large or 4 medium) golden beets roasted and grated on large hole of box grater
- 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil for the beets
- 1 cup (100 g) chopped walnuts
- 2 grams, 5 leaves of fresh sage
- 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted Butter
- 500 grams cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 cups (250 g) Icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- Place oven rack in middle, preheat to 375F
- Wash and trim leaves off golden beets.
- Brush vegetable oil on beets and wrap in aluminum foil
- Roast for 45 minutes
- Leave oven on at 375F
- Once the beets are cooked, peel the skins and grate in bowl on a box grater on the biggest hole, set aside in fridge so it can cool down
- Take two 9 inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper and grease sides and bottom with baking spray or butter and a light dusting of flour
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice and set aside
- In large bowl or stand mixer, mix the sugar for 30 seconds so any lumps can break up
- Add one egg at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next egg...scrape sides/bottom of bowl between eggs
- Add the canola oil slowly until well combined
- Fold in the cooled golden beets and walnuts
- With spatula, stir in about a third of the flour/spice mixture, mix, then add another third and repeat until both dry and wet ingredients are well combined
- Distribute cake batter evenly between the 2 cake pans
- Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean
- Allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes or so then transfer to a wire rack
- On medium heat, melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the sage leaves and cook stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes until brown bits start to form.
- Set aside to cool
- In stand mixer or large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment for a couple minutes
- Once the butter has cooled, fish out the sage leaves and discard
- Add the butter slowly in a thin stream to the cream cheese, continuously beating
- Add the vanilla
- Beat in the icing sugar a bit at a time
- Place your first layer down, apply about 1/4 inch layer of frosting
- Put the top layer on and gently squeeze down
- Frost the entire cake, top and sides
- Garnish (optional) with some walnuts
Your creations are stunning and outrageously creative! Sooooo awesome!