Chocolate and Beets

..or chocolate beet cupcakes..

They’re really good I swear! Just ask my Mom! She hates beets!

Sooo, I had this brilliant idea to use the beets I had on hand and make a bright purpley, pink quick bread. Turns out beets react with baking soda and baking powder in a way that their color is lost…wah waah waaaaah. So instead of attempting a yeast bread and possibly ruining my precious, precious beets, I found this chocolate cupcake recipe and it is oh sooo good. The beet puree used adds moistness and a depth of flavor I really can’t explain, and the beet flavor that some people (Mom) despise so much is non-existent. I added some cocoa powder and chocolate chips to give it an even richer chocolate flavor and topped them with a little bit of a cream cheese frosting colored with leftover beet water.  This is a pretty great way to sneak vegetables into baking and trick those unsuspecting souls into getting some fiber.

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

Adapted from simplebites.

*makes 12 normal sized cupcakes

– 2 oz. (about 1/4 C.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

– ½ C. unsalted butter softened

– 1 C. cake flour (or all purpose will work)

– ¾ tsp. baking soda

– ¼ tsp. baking powder

– ¼ tsp. salt

– 2 tbsp. dark chocolate cocoa powder

– 3/4 C. sugar

– 1 egg

– ½ tsp. vanilla extract

– ¾ C. beet puree (about 2 med. sized beets) — recipe below

1.  Pre-heat oven ro 350 degrees  and line 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake paper and grease

2. Melt chocolate and 2 tbsp of the butter (or be like me and forget to add the butter and shrug it off) in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each 30 seconds til melted. Set aside to cool a little

3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.

4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (a hand mixer works too!), beat the remaining butter and sugar til combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. Once combined, beat in egg and vanilla, then the beets, and lastly the chocolate…scraping the bowl after each addition. Remove bowl (and paddle attachment) from stand mixer and fold in the flour mixture by hand til moistened. Stir in chocolate chips (if using). It’ll be a little lumpy, nooo worries.

5. Divide using an ice cream scoop into baking cups and bake about 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Set cupcakes on cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting!

*makes more than enough for 12 cupcakes

– 4oz softened cream cheese

– 1/4 C. softened unsalted butter

– 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

– 1 C. to 1 1/2 C. powdered sugar

– 2-3 tsp. beet juice (reserved from boiling beets)

1. In a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine butter and cream cheese til well combined.

2. Sift or whisk powdered sugar in a small bowl, then add the cream cheese/butter in three parts, mixing on low and scraping down the sides after each sugar addition.

3. Add beet juice til desired color and mix on medium speed til desired creamy texture. Add more powdered sugar if you want a thicker frosting. The texture of mine when I made it was in between icing and frosting and worked great and does NOT taste like beets.

Beet Puree

– 2 to 3 beets

1. Wash, peel, and cube beets and place in a pot covering with plenty of water.

2. Bring to a boil and cook til beets are fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Reserve some of the water for the icing before straining beets

4. Puree in food processor (or blender) til almost smooth…it’ll be a little chunky, which isn’t so bad.

5. yay! beet puree! beet cupcakes!

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