We're coming down to the wire, only 2 more weeks of CSA season! We just had our Squashtacular event and it was a wonderful success! There was cider pressing, tractor rides, a photo booth and lots of squash themed food and drinks. And we've still got tons of winter squash left for you! The 3 varieties we have in most abundance are carnival, delicata, and winter luxury pie pumpkins. All have exceptional flavor and the carnival and delicata both feature edible skin. We also have a limited quantity of a new variety: Kakai hulless. Kakai were specifically bread for their seeds which don't need to be shelled and are delicious raw or roasted. Straight from the squash, the seeds have the flavor of avocado, and roasted turn into a nutty, delicious treat. Bonus, they look beautiful on your table and make an interesting Jack-O-Lantern when carved. Just in time for Halloween!
Veggie of the Week: Beets!
The cold weather is here and its time to cozy up by the fire and roast some vegetables. Beets have the perfect earthy flavor for soups, are great pickled in salads, and can be added to any tray of veggies that goes in the oven. But beets aren't only for savory things, their sweetness means they can also be added to desserts like this Heartbeet Chocolate Cake!
4 medium beets, scrubbed
2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil, plus more for pan
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pan
1½ cups almond flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1¼ cups (packed) light brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
Gold luster dust (for serving; optional, but strongly recommended)
Cook beets in a medium pot of boiling unsalted water until tender, 30–40 minutes, depending on size. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Cut off stem end, then peel and cut beets into large pieces. Transfer to a blender and add 2 Tbsp. water. Blend, adding water 1 Tbsp. at a time as needed, until a smooth purée forms—it should be the consistency of applesauce. Measure out 1 cup purée (reserve remaining purée for another use, such as blending into a smoothie).
Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom of an 8" round cake pan with parchment. Grease with oil, then dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess.
Whisk almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and remaining ½ cup cocoa powder in a medium bowl; set aside.
Heat chocolate and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring often, until melted. Remove bowl from heat. Stir in vinegar, vanilla, and reserved 1 cup beet purée until smooth.
Beat eggs, brown sugar, and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed (or use an electric mixer and large bowl) until more than tripled in volume and mixture holds a ribbon for several seconds when beater is lifted above batter, 5–7 minutes. Thoroughly beating the eggs is key to creating an aerated, light crumb and is a critical step when using gluten-free ingredients.
Pour chocolate-beet mixture into egg mixture and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Turn mixer off and gently tip in reserved dry ingredients. Beat on lowest speed, scraping down bowl as needed, until combined.
Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when gently pressed, 45–50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edges of pan, then invert cake onto a wire rack and let cool.
Heat chocolate, oil, vanilla, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring often, until chocolate is melted. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened and cool enough to touch, 10–15 minutes.
Place rack with cake on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over center of cake to cover top, tilting baking sheet slightly to encourage a few drips to run over sides of cake.
Sprinkle with luster dust (if using). Let sit at room temperature until glaze is set, 2–3 hours.
Thanks for supporting your local farmers!
Ellen and Ashley