The twist in this recipe comes in the form of an unlikely ingredient: beets.
If the idea of an earthy vegetable addition doesn’t sound too appealing in a cake recipe, trust me when I tell you it’s undetectable in the final product.
It adds volume, sweetness and moisture with none of the veggie flavor, making these cupcakes an excellent option for a PV day, and a wonderful treat for the kids, if they’re reluctant to eat the weird-looking vegetable (which I imagine most children are).
I use store-bought boiled beets for this recipe, as I find them much less earthy in flavor as opposed to raw or roasted ones, but feel free to experiment with whatever best suits your taste buds.
The yield is 9 medium-sized cupcakes, and it’s the basic recipe I use to make my Dukan red velvet cupcakes (hence the cream cheese frosting). To make those, just cut back on the cocoa powder and coffee to let the beet color come through, and help it along with some red food coloring. Adding all-natural cocoa powder rather than dutch-process will also bring out the red.
Preheat your oven at 175o C, grab your blender and let’s start making the cupcakes:
Drop the beet into the blender and add your buttermilk and eggs into a measuring jug or other vessel with a pour spout. Pour in some of the buttermilk and turn on your blender to start puréeing the beet. Continue adding the rest of the buttermilk and eggs until your mixture turns into a nice pink liquid.
Now time for the dry ingredients: add the sweetener, cocoa powder, coffee granules (I’m using hazelnut flavored coffee), bran and milk powder and blend until everything is nicely combined.
And there you have it: cake batter, done!
Pour the mixture into a muffin tin lined with cupcake cases — again, I prefer silicone molds for the job to prevent sticking.
Place the tin in the oven and bake for about 20′. It’s quite a runny batter, so depending on your oven and the possible hotspots, you might get an uneven rise — but that’s what the frosting is there for
When the time’s up, turn the oven off but leave the cupcakes in for an additional 10′ to ensure you don’t end up with a muddy cake, but a nice, moist and tender crumb. Take them out of the oven and remove them from the molds to release any steam or moisture trapped in the bottom of the cakes.
You can serve them as they are, but they’re even lovelier with some cream cheese frosting on top. To make it, just add the ingredients in a bowl and stir together with a spoon. Done! (I used chocolate & hazelnut flavoring to echo the flavors of the cake).
Add a nice big dollop of frosting over each cake and serve — look how pretty!
Now take a nice big bite!