Some readers may recognize this as the winning dessert in Marcus’ Chopped All-Stars episode that won him the chance to compete in the All-Stars finale. This gooey chocolate cake with candied beets takes a bit of prep but yields tremendously indulgent results; highlighting a great accomplishment in the Yes, Chef journey.
Photo courtesy of Back to the Cutting Board
Calories per serving: 205 per serving
Prep time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 30 mins
Total time: 2 hours 30 mins
1 lb. chocolate nibs (64% cocoa)
1 lb. granulated sugar
1 lb. unsalted butter
5 oz. all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2-3 small, or 1 large beet
1 vanilla bean pod, or 2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup simple syrup (ingredients to follow)
1 tsp cardamom or allspice (optional)
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Meanwhile, melt chocolate nibs and butter on the top of a double boiler in a large bowl. Once melted, add in sugar and mix completely. Remove from heat and cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Add flour to cooled chocolate mixture, then whisk in eggs, salt and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
4. Pour mixture into 4-oz. aluminum custard cups (or buttered ramekins) and freeze until solid. Freezing the individual cakes ensures they will be baked on the outside but still leave the inside warm and gooey.
5. While refrigerating the cakes, begin the candied beets. Roast raw beets either wrapped in aluminum foil or uncovered on a baking sheet for one hour in the pre-heated oven.
6. While beets roast, prepare the simple syrup. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Dissolve the sugar in the water, stirring constantly. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat. Set aside and allow to cool completely before use.
7. Once beets are roasted, remove from oven and cool. Peel outer skin and dice into small cubes. Toss beets in a large mixing bowl with simple syrup, vanilla (if using a pod, scrape vanilla into the bowl), and spices (if desired) until well blended. Set aside.
8. Once cakes are frozen, remove and bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cake should be firm on the outside, but still gooey in the center.
9. Serve cakes alongside whipped cream and the candied beets.