I’ve had this particular recipe saved for years. I found it one day on David Lebovitz’s blog and I thought it sounded so unusual in a good way. He adapted the recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi, who I admire so much for his use of vegetables and creating food that’s known for it’s “harmonious contradictions; vibrant and bold yet familiar and comforting; beautiful to look at yet close to its original in form.” So it makes sense that he’d use beets in a cake for instance.
Think ultra moist cake that’s most similar to banana bread or maybe apple or carrot cake. It’s not too sweet, (the sweetness mostly comes from the frosting,) and it has great texture from the nuts and ginger. I love the ginger in it because it’s not in every bite. If the recipe called for ginger powder, you’d have a subtle ginger flavor in each piece. Instead, it’s a little treat to stumble upon every few bites. Meanwhile, the beet is subtle so if you’re not into beets, don’t worry, they are not the dominant flavor. However, their flavor does provide the unique touch that makes this cake unlike any you’ve had before. I also think the beet downplays the sweet so it’s perfect for the not-too-sweet lovers. And it’s just a really soft sponge so it’s a pleasure to eat.
While easy to make, it requires a lot of chopping. So make it on a weekend when you can happily, instead of frantically, chop the ginger, walnuts, beets, and zest the citrus while listening to music or a podcast or something. Once you have the chopping done, it’s pretty quick. And SO worth it. We were battling for the last piece of cake–so watch out, it will be devoured quickly!