Fall must be on the way, because I’m starting to feel the need to bake.
I don’t bake much anymore. That probably has something to do with the tiny man running around my house. I also don’t eat many baked goods these days, so it kind of works out. But after spending more than 15 years as a full-time cake decorator and baker, I do get the bug every once in a while. And since I have a huge crop of beets that just keeps on coming, what better to pair them with than chocolate, right?
One great aspect of this recipe is the easy adaptability for the vegan crowd. Just switch out the egg with your favorite egg substitute. Either way will work (I used eggs, but I plan to try the vegan version next time. I usually don’t have eggs in the house.)
I like to keep the mess to a minimum when I bake, so I pureed the beets ahead of time. I boiled a full pot of beets until fork-tender, leaving about 1″ of the stems attached so as not to let many of the nutrients seep out into the boiling water. Once cooked, I plunged them into cold water and the skins just slipped off. That amazes me every time. Then, I just piled them into the food processor and pureed until smooth. (I had extra puree, so I put it in the freezer for easy use next time.)
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch salt
- 3 eggs (or equivalent egg substitute for 3 eggs)
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups fresh beets, cooked and pureed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, eggs/egg substitute and salt. Add the oil, sugar and vanilla; mix well. Add beet mixture; again, mix well.
Fill cupcake liners until almost full (batter will not expand much.) Bake at 375º for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan to wire rack to cool.
(Makes about 16 cupcakes.)
I recently received some samples of Pom pomegranate blueberry juice, which I hadn’t had a chance to break into yet…until now! While the dense, muffin-like texture of these cupcakes would pair well with a thick, fluffy icing or a creamy filling, I decided to take a simple approach with a mixture of confectioner’s sugar and a few tablespoons of Pom juice…just enough to make a spreadable glaze. The tart Pom was a great addition to the sweet glaze, and the blueberry flavor made all the difference. Yeeeeum!
I topped these lovelies off with a few dark, dark chocolate covered cacao nibs to further balance the sweetness of the glaze, and to add a fun crunch.
For those of you who don’t like beets, I promise you won’t even taste them. They add a lovely dark red tint, and lots of texture, but there isn’t even a hint of beet flavor! Of course, as usual, chocolate cupcakes should be enjoyed sparingly, but it never hurts to get an extra serving of veggies in!
Since I certainly don’t need more than one cupcake to myself, I’ll be taking these to the office tomorrow….do you think I should let them in on the secret?
Have you ever baked with beets? What’s your favorite “hide-the-veggie” recipe?