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Spaghetti Squash & Chocolate Beet Cake By Chef Nikki Miller-Ka

10:22 AM, Jan 13, 2013   |    comments
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Spaghetti Squash And Meatballs Recipes
Serves 6-8 and makes 30 meatballs

2 spaghetti squashes (about 2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the spaghetti, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle cut sides of squashes with oil; season with salt and pepper. Place cut sides up on a baking sheet. Bake until soft to the touch, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Alternative: Place each squash half in the microwave on high for 12 minutes. There is no need to add oil if using this method of cookery. Let sit until cool enough to touch.

Meatballs Recipe
Makes 30

2 cups chopped yellow onions (1 large onion), roasted
2 cups chopped green, yellow & red peppers, roasted
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine roasted vegetables, olive oil, pepper, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup, ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, and mix with your hands or wooden spoon until well combined. Form mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. For ease, use a small (#60) ice cream scoop to make meatballs.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.

When the squashes are cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh of each squash with a fork into strands, and place into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve topped with meatballs, tomato sauce of your choice and sprinkled with cheese, if desired.

Chocolate Beet Cake Recipe
Serves 12
3/4 cup beets, pureed
6 ounces (3/4 cup, 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pans
1 cup packed brown sugar OR 1/2 cup Splenda Brown sugar

Blend
1/2 cup granulated sugar OR 1/4 cup Splenda Baking Blend
2 large eggs OR 1/2 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups cake 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, fat free

For the Frosting:

8 ounces (1 block) Neufchatel 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon beet juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons milk, depending on desired consistency
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt

Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Measure 3/4 cup of beets for the cake and reserve 1 Tablespoon beet juice for the frosting. Set aside.

Use butter to grease two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans. Trace a piece of parchment paper so it is the same size as the bottom of the cake pan. Cut it out and place inside the cake pan. Butter the parchment paper. Add a dusting of flour or cocoa powder to coat the pan. Set pans aside while you prepare the cake.

In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars.

Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in eggs or egg substitute, 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.

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 thick.

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 toothpick 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, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese for 30 seconds, until pliable and smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Add the beet juice, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, milk, lemon juice. Beat on medium speed until smooth and silky. Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes before frosting the cooled cakes.

The cake will keep, if refrigerated, up to 4 days.

Private Chef Nikki Miller-Ka

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