Chocolate Beet Cake

One of the most popular desserts of last year was the Chocolate Beet Cake. A dense chocolatey cake that lets you also claim you are eating your vegetables! This cake is the only dessert of last year that we also serving this year – by popular demand.


We’d like you to come to a workshop to enjoy this cake, but if you want to recreate it at home, here is the recipe.

Cake Ingredients:
2 medium beets, trimmed
1/2 Tbs vegetable oil
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup natural cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tap pure vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients:
10 Tbs unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 top pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt

PREPARE THE BEETS (can be done a day or two before)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Put the beets on a piece of foil large enough to wrap them. Drizzle with the vegetable oil and turn to coast well. Enclose the beets in the foil and roast until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 1 hour. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with pan spray. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess. (We use cake pans with removable bottoms to make it easy to turn out the cakes.)

Peel and finely grate enough of the beets to make 3/4 cup. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the grated beets and the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and carefully add half of the flour mixture; mix until fully incorporated. Add 1 1/4 cups hot water and the remaining flour mixture, return to medium-low speed and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans, smoothing the tops.
Bake the cakes, rotating halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the cakes in their pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto racks. Let the cakes cool completely.

Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and mix until combined. Stir in the cream, vanilla and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cool slightly. Refrigerate, stirring every 10 minutes, until soft peaks form and the frosting is completely cool, about 1 hour.

Place one of the cakes on a cake plate and spread a generous 1/2 cup frosting evenly over the top. Top with the second cane and spread a generous 1/2 cup of frosting over it. Frost the sides with the remaining frosting.


More From Katie Pasquini Masopust’s Class

Well, it was amazing how much was accomplished in Katie’s class because they seemed be having just one big on going party! They went out to lunch every other day and shopped — boy, did they shop! Katie always seems to find all the great shopping opportunities in Greenville!

But still, they worked hard in the studio! Here is an example of one of the student pieces in the works. Love the dot rings.


Here, Katie is showing examples of the free-motion quilting that she uses.


More work in the studio.


At the before dinner Happy Hour in the front parlor of the Main Inn.


Such a nice group. We were sad to see them leave. This is the nice card they gave to us and they also gave one to our friendly waitresses who served them all week long — keeping the wine glasses full!


If you missed this year’s class, don’t despair, Katie will be teaching again next year. March 23 – 29, 2014 are the dates and Working In a Series will be the subject, and we already have people signed up.

Painting to Quilt with Katie Pasquini Masopust

The first workshop of the 2013 season has begun! Katie Pasquini Masopust is teaching an eager group her process of taking an abstract watercolor painting and translating it into an art quilt.

The first day was spend painting. This was a very freestyle non-intimidating session of using watercolors and experimenting with methods of creating interesting texture and design.

By the afternoon everyone had a slew of paintings to choose from. Katie worked with each person to find the one magic portion of a painting that would translate well into fabric.

The next step was to trace the design and then get the design enlarged on paper. Thanks to the excellent service at Dataflow in Albany, Katie was able to zip up there at the last minute to get all the copies made and still make it back to the inn just in time for dinner.

It was a good thing that all this was done the first day because that night it started snowing! What’s with this snow — it almost Spring!


While the weather outside was frightful, inside the studio was delightful. Today everyone was hard at work on their designs.


The main inn dining room provides as nice warm place for lunch and shopping.


At cookie break time at 2:30pm, some of the students decide that a little snow shoveling was the perfect thing to work out the kinks of sitting in the studio and an appetite for the warm chocolate chip cookies.


No, they didn’t have to do the entire parking lot and driveway! The snow plow came soon after they finished with the path between the studio and the main inn.