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A Few Local CSA Farms in Lancaster County

Here is a link to a few other CSAs in Lancaster County besides my favorite, Blue Rock Farm.  This is by no means a complete list, but there are resources where you can get more information.  This one is Farmers’ Friend.  Another is the website of PA Buy Fresh Buy Local, and if you “Google” Lancaster County CSA you will find others.  Here is a quick link to a few. I haven’t tried any of them out, Blue Rock is my first venture into CSA.  I’ll keep you posted.

http://www.farmerspal.com/organic-farms/csa-farms/region/lancaster-county-pennsylvania/page/1/

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Caitlin’s Chocolate Beet Cake from the Blue Rock Farm

In my last post I waxed poetic about the Blue Rock Farm in Willow Street.  Now, Caitlin Brady sends me this recipe for a sweet and tasty chocolate cake made with chocolate and beets.  It’s incredibly rich, and you may never go back to “normal” chocolate cake again.

Caitlin’s Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes one 8 or 9-inch 2 layer cake

Ingredients:Image
For the Cake:
2 medium beets, unpeeled and trimmed of their greens
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pans
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For the Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces (1 brick) cream cheese, softened
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons finely grated beets, mashed with a fork
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons milk, depending on desired consistency
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt

Preparation:

Place a rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Wash beets under running water, and trim their leaves. Place clean beets in a piece of foil and drizzle with just a bit of vegetable oil.  Seal foil and place on a baking sheet in the oven.  Roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.  Remove the beets from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Using a box grater, grate the peeled beets on the finest grating plane.  Measure 3/4 cup of grated beets for the cake and 2 tablespoons for the frosting.  Set aside.  Use butter to grease two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans.   Add a dusting of flour to coat the pan.  Set pans aside while you prepare the cake.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars.  Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, for one minute after each addition.   Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Once eggs are incorporated, beat in beets and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture.  Beating on low  speed , slowly add the buttermilk.  Once just incorporated, add the other half of the dry ingredients.  Beat on medium speed until milk and dry ingredients are just incorporated.  Try not to overmix the batter.  Bowl can be removed from the mixer.  and mixture folded with a spatula to finish incorporating ingredients.  Cake batter will be on the thick side… not pourable.

Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.  Bake for 23 to 25 minutes (for a 9-inch pan) or 30-32 minutes (for an 8-inch pan).  Cake is done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove cakes from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Invert cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting and assembling the cake.

To make the frosting:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat cream cheese for 30 seconds, until smooth.  Add the butter and beat for another 30 seconds, until well combined.   Beat in the beets.  Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, milk, lemon juice, and salt.  Beat on medium speed until smooth. Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes before frosting the cooled cakes.

To assemble the cake, place one layer of cake on a cake stand or cake plate.  Top with a generous amount of pink frosting.  Spread evenly.  Place the other cake on top of the frosting.  Top with frosting.  Work frosting onto the sides of the cake.   Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

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