I was very tempted to go into hibernation for these days I have off from work between Christmas and New Years and do a complete media blackout as I felt very burnt out towards the end of last week and desperately just wanted to spend time with my children “to get my head in the right space”. After a lovely time with family over the past few days and a wonderful day lying on the beach yesterday I finally felt like I was getting back to normal and got back in the mood to blog again. I’m hoping to do quite a bit of catch up over the next week or so (but I’m not making any promises:)) as I still owe you a blog about the Red Velvet ice cream I made as well as the Rocky Road ice cream that came out of a sale on fresh cream at Pick n Pay for R5 on the 24th of December since all the tubs were reaching their best before date on that day. I can promise you that this recipe is a winner and a definite must try for beginner ice cream makers.
One of the many lovely gifts I got for Christmas was Cake Days by the world famous Hummingbird Bakery and the decision to make this recipe came from the need to use up some beetroot I had that was starting to look a bit dodgy. It was so quick and easy and a great success with the family especially with my 5 year old daughter who always leaves the cake behind after licking off the icing but not with these .
Beetroot and Chocolate Cupcakes
Inspired by the book: “Cake Days” by the Hummingbird Bakery (but adapted quite a bit in the method)
200g cake flour
50g cocoa powder
7.5ml baking powder
2.5ml ground cinammon
250g castor sugar
300g cooked and peeled beetroot (I weighed this after peeling and washing)
3 large eggs
200ml sunflower/vegetable oil
5ml vanilla essence
Beetroot prep: I put the peeled and washed beetroot into a small pot and covered it with cold water. I put this pot onto the stove and allowed it to come to a boil with the lid on. Once it started boiling I added a pinch of coarse salt and allowed it to boil for about 20 minutes. I realize now that it would have gone more quickly if I had cut them into chunks rather than leave them whole. Once the knife could easily pierce the beetroot, I turned off the heat and let the beetroot sit in the hot water for another 10 minutes while I prepped the rest of the ingredients.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. You definitely need to line 1x 12 hole tray and 1 x 6 whole muffin tray.
Sift the 1st 6 ingredients into a small bowl and set aside while you put the beetroot into a blender with about 125ml of the cooking liquid. Blend well until smooth. Since this was still hot and I didn’t want to cook the eggs, I added the oil first followed by the vanilla essence. I then added the eggs one at a time while running the blender and blending well before adding the next egg. The recipe said that I should now add the wet ingredients to the sifted flour but I don’t really follow instructions to the letter. With the blender still running, I started adding the dry ingredients through the hole in the lid one tablespoonful at a time until it was all blended. The dry ingredients stopped blending well towards the end so I added another 30ml of cooking liquid to loosen things up.
Since this was all done in the blender it was really easy to distribute the mixture between the muffin liners and be careful not to fill more than three quarters of the way up to allow for rising without spilling over (a mistake I have made many many times).
Bake for 20 minutes until well risen and bounces back after you touch them quite firmly. Allow to cool before frosting with buttercream or cream cheese icing. I used some buttercream I had left over in the fridge but the recipe that is provided in the book is:
600g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
250g full cream cream cheese
Edible sugar or fondant decorations
Beat butter by hand or with a free standing mixer until creamy. Add icing sugar in stages until combined but still powdery. Add cream cheese and mix on medium speed until the icing is light, fluffy and smooth.
Swirl icing onto cooled cupcakes with as much finesse as you feel like. I had a lot of buttercream left so I piped mine on just to use it up and free up some space in the fridge