October Baby and a Birthday Cake

I am an October baby.  Every year flies by faster and faster, almost seeming like a whirlwind of events. This past weekend seemed even more so, filled with school work, family, and friends. But I have to say nothing beats going back home to my mom’s for a relaxing birthday weekend and waking up to a beautiful breakfast table. It's tradition in my family to start the birthday with a luscious breakfast spread, covered with everything from fresh artisanal bread, German cold cuts and cheese, soft boiled eggs, fruits and jams, to of course freshly brewed coffee. We all slowly nibble our way through an hour or two of conversations, and end the breakfast with a song, candles, and of course a birthday cake. And then come the gifts...

This year my mother and I baked a cake together. A chocolate beet cake to be exact. It turned out moist and tender. Rich with a chocolaty aroma and deep dark brown color. It was delicious. Only lightly sweet, just how Germans like it. And course we topped it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Yummmmm.

After we shared the cake, it came time to open cards and presents. Written with words of love and support, my dear family wished me a wonderful new year. And together they bought me a new lens. A new 50 mm F/1.4 Canon lens. And I love it! Thank you all for supporting my sanity and my creative outlet, photography!

So to keep it short, without nutrition information, and just pure indulgence, I share with you my birthday cake. Perfect for special occasions or simple surprises.

Chocolate Beet Birthday Cake
Serves 10-12

3 eggs, room temperature
½ vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups pureed red beets, 3-4 medium beets steamed/cooled/and peeled
6 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
2/3 cups unbleached sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cups organic butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon (melted)
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, coarsely chopped
Optional but highly recommend: powdered sugar for dusting and fresh whipped cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter and grease Bundt loaf pan. Place into freezer. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. Stir in the red beet puree and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl on a low speed. Add the butter and continue to mix on low to moisten the dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium and mix for about a minute. Add 1/3 of egg/beet mixture and mix for an additional 20-30 seconds. Repeat until the entire egg/beet mixture is incorporated making sure to scrape down the sides with each addition.

Toss in the chocolate chips, and stir to evenly distribute. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake in oven for  50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes and invert cake onto serving plate. Continue to cool cake to room temperature if dusting with powdered sugar prior to serving. Serve with a dollop of lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream.

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