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.


Watercolor Workshop with Frank Webb

Frank Webb (AWS, NWS) of Edgewood, Pennsylvania, studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Working as a professional artist since 1947, he has received more than 90 major awards including a Dolphin Fellowship of the American Watercolor Society.

Frank has regular taught at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops for decades and it is always a treat to have him here.


We had couple of birthdays during the workshop.


Our sou chef, Nancy, who makes the desserts each day, turned our regular (very popular) chocolate beet cake into a lovely birthday cake!


Valentine’s Day Chocolates!

It’s all about the romance. It’s about the chocolate. If you care about romance or chocolate then you’ve come to the right blog.

Here are some of the mixed boxes and solid hearts we have ready at Life by Chocolate. Mixed chocolates include chocolates that look like hearts. Some are decorated hearts. Call us and tell us what you want. You can specify exactly the chocolates you want or buy one of my mixes. Just ask for Fair Trade if you want the Fair Trade. Right now I only have 70% Dark Chocolate in the Fair Trade Chocolate. Call us at 518 966 5219. Check out these pictures.

I love this Book Heart. It’s just so appropriate for so many people. Aunts, moms, and wives.

Best part of all, it has a lot of chocolate in it. Here are some of the chocolates I put in the box. These shown in the picture are made with Fair Trade Chocolate (70%). Yummer.

Or you can get THIS heart. It’s a royal treat. Isn’t it just lovely?
Same chocolate, Fair Trade 70%, different mix of ingredients.

Here is a Sassy Loving Heart. Again, this is the Fair Trade Dark Chocolate I use. This chocolate is 100% American Chocolate. The other one I use is Swiss and it’s also great.

This is my solid rose heart. You can also get one without the rose decoration and it’s about an ounce lighter. You can get this heart or the plain heart in the Sassy Loving Heart box or in the Satin Loving Heart box.

This is the very plush Satin Loving Heart. All of these boxes contain about 4-7 oz of chocolate, depending on the box. The Rose Solid Heart is about 4 oz and the smaller plain heart is about 3 oz. That’s a lot of chocolate.

You can get a mix of chocolates in this satin box. Nice.

Or a solid piece of heaven. Yummer.

Check out this Silver Double Heart. Fantastic. This hold a lot of chocolate.

Just ask for mixed chocolates or specify what you want. Go to and ask for exactly what you want. The web store will be up in a week or two but in the meantime, just call us and we’ll be happy to rush you a great box of chocolates.

Call 518 966 5219.

New Chocolates: The Pizzaz Collection

Well, I’m doing one more collection of chocolates before taking a break and selling the types we already have. The milk chocolate is filled with a blueberry and pomegranate molasses jelly and the dark chocolate is filled with an ancho jelly. Yum.

These are the milk chocolate. I didn’t take any pictures of the dark.

Kim is now looking at getting a macro-lense. Yup. We need one for the chocolates and other close up shots that Kim wants to do.

We also need better lighting. I think we can use the studio for that. Next step, after getting the display cabinet, here’s the one we are thinking of, is to set up the store website.

We’ll get something like this. Not quite sure.


I’ve been selling my chocolates. Yes, those lovely chocolates that you see on the blog. So, just like my granola, $10/lbs, people can now buy my chocolates and nougats.

What? The granola is for sale? Yes. I’ve been selling it on request. People love it. Mostly people buy 5 lbs boxes of it. But I do sell it by the pound plus shipping. I just sold a box of my cherry cordials, hand dipped, and a mixed box of chocolates and nougats. Yummer.

How do you like that?

Sssh! It’s a secret. 😉

What’s next? Mail order pastries? You betcha! Can you say FedEx? Good. I new you could. 🙂