How Queen Marie learns to dance
Marie Antoinette found herself bored silly. She had everything she wanted. If she clapped once, her servant would come with a tray full of chocolate cake. Twice got her steaming mugs of cocoa and cream. Three times and she went mad over baskets of truffles and éclairs. But she wasn’t happy.
Bad teeth made her head ache. If something amused her, she hid her black smile behind her fan. To wear her palace gowns, she had her corsets pulled so tight, Marie could hardly catch enough breath to shout, “Off with their heads!”
“Do something!” she ordered the King.
Louis shook his own head and consulted the court surgeon.
“We have no good way to patch up bad teeth, short of pulling them all out,” the doctor said. “To keep the ones Marie has left, she must eat less sugar.” As he took his leave he added, “And your wife needs more exercise.”
Louis loved his wife and wanted to see her well and cheerful. He ordered his chef to make a glorious cake with no sugar. The result was a confection of chocolate, nuts, and veggies, sweetened with a magical herb called stevia. Louis had it wheeled in to his wife’s dining salon on a cart lit by a single gold candle. “This,” said Louis, “is what we will eat with our tea from now on. When we want other sweets, we shall eat fresh fruits and berries. When we want a snack, we shall eat nuts.”
Marie pouted. But Louis insisted. So Marie took a small slice. Sugarless icing crowned the cake. A hint of chocolate cream oozed from the burgundy center. Marie daintily slid her golden fork under the tip of the slice and raised a royal crumb to her lips. “Mmm,” she said. Then she placed the whole forkful into her mouth. “Chocolaty and moist,” she proclaimed. And she ate it all up.
When she asked for another piece, Louis shook his finger back and forth. “Not now, my dear,” he said. ” But perhaps you would like to dance?” He held out his hand, his wrist flounced with lace, and asked his violinist to play. He whirled Marie around the floor. They leaped. They twirled. They chasséed like pretty ponies. On they went until Marie was gasping for air.
Marie flopped into the down feathers of her brocade lounge and laughed.
“I’m glad you enjoyed that, ” said Louis. “We shall dance every afternoon, until we are in the best of shapes, as befits our royal station.”
“What in coronation was in that cake,” Marie asked. “I haven’t felt such energy since I was a girl!”
“It’s hush-hush,” he said. “We wouldn’t want the masses to hear of our secret ingredient. They could start demanding high prices. Worse yet, they might keep it all for themselves.” He paused. “But if you promise not to tell…” Louis hid his mouth behind his hand and whispered in her ear. All he said was: “Beets.”
“From this day forth,” Marie announced with a flourish,”We, The Royal House, will settle for nothing short of beets. The peasants, let them eat cake!”
And so, with a regular program of dance combined with sensible eating, she and Louis took control over their health. They may not have lived happily ever after… but they felt better trying.
To learn how the royal beets worked their charm, check out my previous post.
Royal Beet Cake
serves 10 or 12 people
- 75 grams (2.5 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 large eggs
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) canola oil
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) coconut oil, melted
- 400 grams raw beets, yielding 300 grams roasted grated beets
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 40 grams (1/3 cup) cocoa, unsweetened
- 50 grams ground almonds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 150 grams (1 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
- 4 teaspoons stevia powder (to equal 300 grams or 2 cups sugar)
1. Trim 3 large beets, clean skins with a dry towel, oil them with canola, and roast them in a sealed casserole at 400F for 60 minutes or until you can pierce them with a fork. Then cool, peel, grate, and measure correct amount.
2. Melt chocolate over hot water in a pan on the stove. Combine with other wet ingredients. For best results, dissolve the stevia powder in the wet ingredients, or use liquid stevia.
3. Whir dry ingredients in a food processor to add air, then fold them into wet ingredients. Pour into 1-litre (4-cup) cake pan, greased and lined with parchment paper.
4. Bake at 350F for 40 min or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack: 10 minutes in pan, then remove and cool completely.
5. When cool, slice horizontally.
- 4 ounces light cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons skim milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon stevia powder or to taste (to equal 75 grams or 1/4 cup sugar) and dissolve it in the milk
- Whip cream cheese and sweetened milk together. Add cocoa.
- Ice first layer, place second layer on top and ice it too. Decorate with fruit if you like.
Nutrients per serving
Based on 10 servings:
288 Calories. 19 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 642 mg cholesterol), 23 g carbs (4.6 g fiber, 5.8 g sugar), 9.3 g protein, 71 mg calcium, 3.1 mg iron, 357 mg sodium, 427 mg potassium, 74 DFE folate, 4.4 mg vitamin E. Leave off the icing and save even more calories!
The original recipe came in at over 650 Calories per serving, most of it sugar and fat. This recipes costs you just 288 calories.
My story of Marie is imagined. Although the real Marie is famous for having said, “Let them eat cake!”, it’s likely not true. Read the facts here.
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