I love the very idea of red velvet cake but not the one that tastes simply of sugar and artificial food colour… the stark red cake with white icing and no real taste or velvety texture . The dominant flavours in a red velvet cake are chocolate, vanilla and butter…being a chocoholic, I like mine slightly more inclined towards chocolate.
Another thing I love to do with my cakes is enhancing and improving taste and texture by adding fruits and vegetables…I’m a diehard fan of carrot cakes and banana breads. After reading a number of recipes in search of a flavourful red velvet cake, I finally decided to go with the beets camp…not to camouflage health benefits of beetroot into a delicious looking cake ( though that is an added advantage) but to add a richness and density which I believe doesn’t come from using loads of artificial food dye.
The cake DOES NOT taste like beetroots once the purée is blended with other flavours, the final product is a rich, moist, velvety chocolate cake – just as it should be. In fact, the earthy sweetness of beets works really well with the bitterness of cocoa.
The colour achieved through this process shall not be a sharp red but brownish red so don’t fret about it because if you do then you should go for the artificial food colour recipes. Or maybe you can add a little bit of colour, like a teaspoon, to make the red more pronounced.
Finally, I fill the layers and cover the cake in lemon butter cream icing…the hint of lemon cuts through the bittersweet taste of the cake and adds another dimension of flavour.
This recipe is for a 9 inch, two layers cake.

For Red Velvet Cake with Beetroots :

2 medium beet roots, boiled and puréed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened not melted
1+ 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2+1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup butter milk

This Is What You Do :

Boil the beets without peeling till really tender ( almost 30-40 minutes). Remove the peel and purée in a food processor. Makes almost 1 +1/4 cup beet root purée.
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans.
Mix flour, baking powder and cocoa in a bowl.
In another bowl beat butter and sugar with electric hand beater. Add eggs and vanilla, beat another minute.
Add the flour mix gradually and stir till combined. Add beets purée and butter milk, beat the entire mixture till smooth.
Divide the mixture into halves and pour into the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Smooth the layers before frosting by very thinly slicing the tops. Use these crumbs for garnishing over the frosting.
For Lemon Butter Frosting :

1 cup butter, softened
3+1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup milk

This Is What You Do :

In a medium sized bowl mix powdered sugar and butter at with an electric mixer on medium speed to avoid splattering.
Add lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of milk. Beat till smooth and fluffy. If it looks too hard, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time, till its spreadable. If its too thin for your purpose, add a little more sugar, if too thick add a few drops more milk.

Makes 12 servings

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