Chocolate, Espresso and Beet Cake with Mascarpone Cream to Celebrate

On Wednesday this little blog turned two years old. It was two years ago that my sister challenged me to finally start the food blog that I had been talking about for months and then sat with me for hours helping to set it up. Thank you Lisa for this and so many other things.

I have learned so much since then. I have learned that natural light is best for food photography, that there are a million fonts to choose from, that writing is hard and taking good photographs can be even harder and that this space will always be a work in progress. I have been delighted to discover that it is possible to “meet” some truly amazing, talented, funny and smart people simply by sharing ideas, recipes, photographs and a bit of your heart. This little space challenges me daily and brings a lot of joy to my life. Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and said hello. Every comment means the world to me.

To celebrate on Wednesday we had cake. Not just any cake. A chocolate, espresso and roasted beet cake with a good sized dollop of mascarpone cream.

I first spotted this recipe in Nigel Slater’s book Tender which surely must be the most beautiful literary ode to vegetables. There is something about this book (and his many others) that makes me want to slow down, put on a pot of tea, cozy up on the couch and read about food that is tended and cared for by hand and then gently harvested at just the right moment and then fully enjoyed.  From reading his books I always get the feeling Nigel Slater simply cooks what he happens to crave at any particular moment, never trying to please anyone but himself. I want to cook in this spirit a bit more often as I feel pretty sure that when you cook from the heart those who join you around the table will very much appreciate the effort.

What I love most about his style of cooking is that it is neither showy nor complicated but there is always a surprise or two.

Beets in a chocolate cake? Why not. There is carrot cake and zucchini cake so why not beet cake. The beets play a supporting role here and make for a really moist cake that is almost molten in the centre. The predominant flavour is definitely chocolate but there is an underlying, almost ethereal, hint of beetroot earthiness.

After reading about this cake in Tender months ago I recently spotted it again over on David Lebovitz’s site in a slightly adapted version. It was then I knew that this recipe was no longer an if but a when on my list of things to bake. I just needed the right occasion. Here it is…

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17 Responses to Chocolate, Espresso and Beet Cake with Mascarpone Cream to Celebrate

  1. Sarolta says:

    Beautiful post my friend! Congratulations!


  2. You celebrate so well. Cheers to year #3.

  3. Leslie says:

    Congratulations Julie! You are truly an inspiration to me.

  4. Lisa Host says:

    Umm, any left? Just give the signal, I’ll be right over!

  5. Sheryl says:

    I’ll never forget the day I googled you and found your beautiful blog – what a fantastic way to catch up on time missed and then, from afar, share in your life. I miss being near you so much, but I’m so thankful to have this way to keep connected. Never underestimate the power of your words and images!

  6. style fare says:

    Happy 2nd anniversary, Julie! My own blog’s first birthday was actually on Jan. 3, so that is nice to hear. 🙂 I am so happy to have come across your wonderful blog – keep up the great job in 2012!

    PS: Your Instagram feed is a true favorite of mine – you kill it each time! 😉 xo, Hana

  7. Mom says:

    Congratulations! We love you.
    Bos & Pa

  8. Congratulations Julie. This cake looks delicious. I love cooking too and always am on the lookout for a great recipe. The quinoa cakes look delish too. Here’s to your 3rd year and many years of wonderful writing, photography, and learning as without learning and experimenting we are simply not living, right?

  9. cathy says:

    Cheers to another year – love the blog, love the pictures, love the food– a great way to start my day. Thanks for all your work here – it is truely inspiring .
    and now Nigel too!!i love him – his books are wonderful reads – i get lost in The Kitchen Diaries everytime i open the cover. I think I will make this cake to celebrate the snow.

  10. Thanks Cathy. I am becoming quite obsessed with Mr. Slater. The Kitchen Diaries is on my bedside table and I peruse it nightly for guaranteed sweet dreams…

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