Monday, 3 October 2016

Harvest time

There is something extremely satisfying about cooking with an ingredient you’ve just harvested from your own vegetable garden.
In this household, just being able to harvest anything before the middle lad gets to it first is worthy of celebration.
So what better way to celebrate the first Everyday Baker beetroot harvest than to make a cake?!
Well, cupcakes to be precise and by “harvest” I’m being a little generous but there was enough for this recipe so that’s the main thing.
These puppies are like the healthy (ish) version of a red velvet cupcake, without the horrid red food colouring that turns my lads into a mob of raving lunatics – I don’t need that in my life, it’s crazy enough here on a good day thank you very much.
Shout out to one of my favourite food blogs for this base recipe, The Nutritionist and the Chef.
The wonderfully earthy flavour of the beetroot pairs very well with almond or hazelnut meal, and the icing is not too sweet, but sweet enough that the lads loved it.
The next crop of veggies have now been planted with excitement, but personally I’ll be very surprised if we manage to pick any strawberries from a plant that’s already had to be replanted five times.    

Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes
85g dark chocolate
3 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup olive oil or melted butter
300g cooked beetroot
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup cocoa
200g almond or hazelnut meal
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup of cream or full fat yoghurt
1 cup cream cheese
½ cup icing sugar

To cook the beetroots, steam for about half an hour or until tender when pricked with a knife.
Wash under cold water and just rub the skin off with your hands, before mashing or blending until you get a rough puree.
Set beetroot aside and pre-heat oven to 180C. Line a cupcake tray with cases.
Melt the dark chocolate.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and oil or butter together.
Add the cooked beetroot, the chocolate and the vanilla to the egg mixture and stir until combined.
Sift in the cocoa and add, with the almond meal, baking powder and salt, folding gently until all mixed through.
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the spring to the touch.
Allow to cool before icing.
To make the icing, whip the cream to soft peaks and add the icing sugar and cream cheese, beating until combined.

Spread over cupcakes and if you desire, grate a little extra chocolate on top.

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