And perhaps the most important milestone that pertains to you, my friend, is that I started The Green Beet and discovered delight and joy in sharing food with friends and family. It’s been wonderful knowing that I’ve influenced the kitchen activity of friends, kin, and even strangers around the world. I’m grateful for the support of everyone who has popped by The Green Beet for a quick visit, tried one of the recipes on The Beet for themselves, dropped a quick message of kind words, offered up recipe suggestions, trusted me with their own personal recipes in exchange for foodie feedback, commented on the site, or shared the site with friends and family. Wow! What a long list of wonderful networking and sharing!
Of course, the approaching moment when we all countdown the end of 2010 in unison and watch the ball drop, begs the question, “What are your new year’s resolutions?” This year I intend to be realistic about resolutions, and I’m only committing to one: bringing more vegetarian food to you. The Green Beet is my baby, and I want to fill it up with nutritious and delicious food. You can also look forward to vegetarian food suggestions for specific holidays well before the holidays arrive. Such is the case with this recipe for Pink Champagne Cake; its body has a delightfully subtle zing thanks to the addition of a little champagne (also referred to as “sparkling wine”).
I’m looking forward to another year of exploring food and recipes. Sharing my discoveries with you significantly increases the excitement of being a vegetarian foodie, and I can only hope that The Green Beet will grow in 2011 thereby increasing its family of vegetarians, vegans, and food lovers galore.
Pink Champagne Cake
for the cake
1 Box Betty Crocker Super Moist Vanilla Cake Mix
1 Large red beet
1/3 Cup safflower oil
1 Cup of champagne (I used Martini & Rossi Asti Sparkling Wine)
1 Tsp vanilla extract
for the frosting
3 Cups powdered sugar
1/3 Cup butter, softened
1 1/2 Tsp vanilla
1 to 2 Tbsp soy milk
4 to 5 Drops red food coloring
Optional frosting addition:
1/4 Cup champagne
1 Additional cup powdered sugar
A Frosting Note: It’s best to try a little frosting with a hint of champagne to make sure you like the flavor. It’s a bit like fermented strawberries and can be overwhelming once added to the delightful zing of the champagne cake. Further - I had a rough time getting my frosting to be the right consistency; between you and me, my friend, I'd have been happier had I made the champagne cake and topped it with a container of vanilla frosting from the store.
1) Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. Cut the leaves from the beet, scrub it to remove any dirt from the skin, and then carefully place it in the boiling water. Let boil for 40 minutes or until beet has softened all the way through. Drain and rinse with cold water. Remove the skin from the beet and cut off the rough top of the beet. Cut the beet into large chunks.
2) In a food processor or blender, combine the beet chunks and 1/3 cup of safflower oil. Blend until completely smooth (the pureed beet will be the source of your champagne cake’s vibrant hot pink hue).
3) Preheat oven to 350⁰ F and coat two 9” round baking dishes with cooking spray.
4) In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, safflower oil & pureed beet, champagne, vanilla extract, and 3 eggs. Beat together according to cake mix package directions. ** Bake as directed (about 23 to 25 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before removing from the baking dishes.
5) To prepare the frosting: Mix together the powdered sugar and butter on low speed. Stir in the vanilla and 1 Tablespoon of soy milk. Using an electric mixer; beat in just enough of the remaining soy milk to make the frosting smooth. You can add a little powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or a little soy milk if frosting is too thick (You don’t want your frosting to be too thin or it will “run” down the sides of your cake). Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, add a few drops of red food coloring to achieve a lovely hue of pink.
6) Serve a slice of Pink Champagne Cake with a glass of chilled champagne. Kiss someone at midnight and enjoy!
**Note: If you would like to make a triple or quadruple layer cake, simply double the list of ingredients for the cake and for the frosting. The light-pink layer of cake featured in the photograph was obtained by preparing a package of vanilla cake mix with all of the ingredients listed above along with (i) 5 drops of red food coloring; and (ii) 1 1/4 cup of champagne in place of the pureed red beet.