Who doesn't like winning an election? I sure was happy when viewers were asked to vote for a favorite recipe, because my Red Velvet Cake came in first! That's saying something when you consider the runners-up were hush puppies and waffles, which are two of my favorites. Hey, I'm a Southern girl, and the Southern part will always love her hush puppies, while the girl in me remembers waffles so fondly. People say this is a sexy cake (Clinton does, but he says that about everything except maybe boiled turnips). The color red no doubt has a lot to do with its sexy reputation: think Valentine's Day. This is a fun cake to make with kids, and I guarantee that after eating this cake, most kids will be happy to have learned that beets aren't yucky!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the beets in a piece of foil and season with the salt. Top with the olive oil and water and roast in the oven until a knife or skewer comes out with ease when inserted into the beet, about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool just enough to handle. Then, peel the beets and place into a blender with any remaining juices and purée.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients. Mix for 30 seconds with the paddle attachment.
In a separate bowl, combine ½ cup of the roasted beet purée and the wet ingredients. In 2 parts, pour into the mixer. Mix on medium speed until combined. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake on the center rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack. Let the cakes cool completely.
Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add the chocolate and vanilla extract, and then continue to mix until incorporated. Next, slowly add the sugar, beating until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Cut each cake in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Frost the top of each layer, then sides, finishing with the top.