Monday, September 6, 2010

I Feel Fine: Gluten Free Chocolate Beet Torte

One interesting thing about being obviously pregnant is that now everyone asks me how I'm feeling.  "Fine," I say.  "How are you feeling?"   People look surprised when I ask them this, as if the question somehow has less relevance for them.  Why don't we always ask each other how we're feeling?  And why don't people ever ask pregnant women "what are you thinking" or something else more unpredictable?

The thing is, I suspect that most people don't really want to know how I'm feeling.  It's more like making conversation, just something you ask pregnant women.  Or they want to know, and secretly hope I'll tell them some juicy story about lurching over to the toilet bowl in the morning.  Well, I'm not going to tell them I feel like I'm constantly hungry, and that I'm eating way more bad-for-me things, it seems, than I did when I was pregnant with Ian.  I'm not going to tell them I rummage through the cabinets at midnight, looking for bits of chocolate, and ruing my virtuousness at the grocery store, when I didn't pick up that jar of white chocolate peanut butter or at the health food store when I didn't buy this brownie.

I mentioned the other day that I was tired of roasted beets, and that I had  yet another bunch waiting to be used in the refrigerator.  Wouldn't you know it: we were invited to two potlucks this weekend, and one of them was the lucky recipient of this decadent little number, lifted from Elana's Pantry.  Unlike the brownies, you'd never know there were beets in here; it's just pure, fudgy goodness, and gluten free, to boot.  We served it up with a few dollops of whipped cream and some fresh raspberries, just picked from our bushes this afternoon, still warm from the sun.

It's hard not to feel fine after a slice of this cake.

Chocolate Beet Torte

2 1/2 c.grated beets
1 c. agave nectar
4 eggs
1/2 c. grapeseed or canola oil
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 t. salt

In a medium saucepan, heat the beets and agave to a boil, then cover.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until beets are soft.

Transfer beet-agave mixture to a Vita-Mix (or other high speed blender) and puree on highest speed until smooth.  Blend in eggs, oil, vanilla, almond extract, cocoa and salt until thoroughly incorporated.
Pour batter into a well greased 9-inch cake pan.  Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool and serve.
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  1. Sounds yummy. . .although I don't think I'd be able to find agave nectar in Tasmania. On Sunday I invented my cardamom/pistachio/rosewater/rose petal/lemon zest cake. Gluten-free - one of the people in my office is celiac so I always try to bake GF. I based it on an orange-poppy seed syrup cake that always works well GR. The original recipe has lots of almond meal, and I replaced the rest of the flour with coconut flour, rice flour, and a little soy flour. I flavoured the cake with cardamom & pistachios. Then I made a syrup flavoured with rosewater and lemon, and put rose petals and chopped pistachios into it just before I poured it over the cake. Twas yummy!

  2. I cannot believe it.. White Chocolate Peanut Butter?? I am sure it tastes like heaven.. I love white chocolate and peanut butter so the two together..!!!

  3. This looks so good. So good. And yes I think you're right, most people don't really want to know how you're feeling. They're just making pleasantries.

  4. My maternal grandmother always used to ask my father "How are you feeeeeeling?" and we could never figure out if she wanted him to say "great" so she could pretend that her son-in-law wasn't broken, or if she wanted him to enumate his sufferings so she could pity him and then tell all her friends about how sick he was. (For most of the years she was doing this he really did feel fine.)

    Some of us really do want to know how you're feeling, because we love you and we know you've got a lot going on physically and emotionally right now. (And you're right, we should ask our friends how they're feeling more often.)

  5. Tasivfer, that cake sounds AMAZING!! And if you can't find agave at a health food store, you should let me know ... it's neat stuff to experiment with, and I'd send some to Tasmania.

    Laura, if you can't get white chocolate peanut butter where you are, you tell me how to get it to you, and it'll be in the mail. ;)

    JeCaThRe, I know ... I'm not counting folks like you in my sweeping generalizations! :)

  6. Wow, what an interesting combination...beet and chocolate...sounds yummie, would love to try it :-)

  7. These look yummy!

    Thanks for being upfront about the food thing. Since I've never gone through this before it's disconcerting to see my eating habits and digestive system TOTALLY taken over by some other force. It's really weird, and interesting, but weird.

  8. I prefer to tell folks I'm fine except for my allergies, they all make faces and yum I love gluten free desserts.


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