Saturday, November 10, 2007

"I See Red" chocolate beet cake

Chocolate beet cake
Originally uploaded by
It is my boss Dave's birthday this Saturday, so I brought his birthday cake into work on Friday. I made it on Wednesday night because I had the pleasure of attending the Crowded House concert on Thursday night, which meant no time for baking then.

Dave is always singing part of the chorus from the Split Enz song,
I See Red. Accordingly, I thought that it would be kind of funky to make Dave a cake that incorporated the "I See Red" theme.

Obviously, the first thing that came to mind was a red velvet cake. However, the thought of pouring so much hyperactive red colouring into a cake did not appeal to me, so I looked for an alternative means of keeping with the red theme. My ultimate choice was a "sort of" lower fat chocolate beet cake, the recipe for which I found
here. It promised to be like the Waldorf Astoria red velvet cake, only lower in fat.

Because of the mention of "red velvet" in the recipe title, I naturally expected the end result to be red. Wrong! It turned out a pretty normal looking chocolate cake. The evidence of the beets came out later in all the wrong places, as the reddish purple juice from the beets stained my cream cheese frosting with purplish red flecks. The photo of this cake was taken just after icing and before the beets had a chance to soak through. However, I guess it fitted in with the "I See Red" theme, even though it was not meant to happen.

Instead of the frosting called for by the recipe (what on earth is Cool Whip!?!), I made cream cheese frosting using 200g light cream cheese beaten with 80g of icing sugar and two teaspoons of lemon juice. It was very tasty!

The piece de resistance for this cake was, of course, the decoration. I made eyes out of fondant, with licorice eyebrows and red sugar for the "red" that the "eyes" could "see". The inspiration for the eyes was the Split Enz video clip for
I Got You, which features close-ups of the eyes and eyebrows of the band members freaking out Neil Finn, but it looked pretty much like my boss's bushy black brows as well.

This cake did not taste that great to me, although it was perfectly OK. The real fun with this cake was the decorating, as the idea was my own creation. I don't count myself as very creative (I studied Science/Law - that's enough to beat the creativity out of anyone!), but I loved making this cake.

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