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Is there anyone out there who is as nuts as I am about Valentine's Day? I know it's a pretty corny, mushy holiday but come on....the hearts?? I LOVE HEARTS. There I said it and now you know. I don't need to wait for an occasion to buy anything that looks like a heart but I usually refrain from making heart shaped foods until V Day. As you know, I already have a problem with overdoing the ombré thing so I try to control myself with this particular shape. Wait...I forgot about the time when I used my heart shaped cookie cutter to make watermelon this past Summer. It doesn't count. Red Velvet Cake has to be one of my favorites. The color is outta control and the taste is amazing, especially when married with a fluffy cream cheese icing. The only issue with all that red velvetness is this....most recipes require a bucket load of food coloring. Usually around a tablespoon and sometimes more! That's a heck of a lot and just in case you didn't know, food coloring is full of yucky chemicals and has been linked to a bunch of nasty things that could happen to your body. So what do you do? Try to stay as natural as possible while still getting the same effect for this gorgeous cake. What's red in our food groups? How bout' a beet? They are "red carpet" stunning with just the right amount of natural color. Better yet, beets are full of nutrients and are very healthy for you. Now, I'm not trying to pull the wool over your eyes with this's still cake but I tweeked the ingredients to make it acceptable in my book. MY HEART IS "BEETING" FOR THIS CAKE 2 1/2 cups cake and pastry flour (use this type of will lighten the cake) 1/4 cup canola oil 3/4 cup cocoa powder (don't use Dutch processed... I like Ghirardelli) 1 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsps baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp 1 tbls vanilla extract 2 ½ cups granulated sugar 4 extra large eggs, lightly beaten 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk (you can use almond, rice or soy for non-dairy) 1 cup beet puree (*recipe below) - about 6 small beets ½ cup + 2 tablespoons orange juice Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9” cake pans or a fun heart shaped pan like I will just have to adjust the baking time to 20 - 25 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, beet puree, orange juice and oil. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add a third of the liquid ingredients, followed by a third of the dry ingredients, alternating wet and dry and mixing well after each addition. Pour into your prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops bounce back when you touch them. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting with yogurt cream cheese icing. Roasted beets: Wash the beets and wrap in aluminum foil. Place the foil-wrapped beets on a baking sheet to catch any drips, and bake in a 400F degree oven for 40-60 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces their flesh. Remove from oven and let cool. The skins should easily peel off. Chop the beets and puree them well in blender or food processor. Greek Yogurt Frosting: One 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar 1/4 cup reduced-fat Greek yogurt Whip and go. Happy Pre Valentines Day! debi @thegardenofeatin xoxo

RecipesDebi Traub2 Comments