Monday, 18 April 2011

Can't Be Beet Chocolate Cupcakes

With a house full of chocaholics living among me (I'm am their reigning Queen) I'm always looking for desserts to tame the chocolate beasts that dwell within us. I also try to make these treats as healthy as possible so when I saw that this recipe used beet puree I jumped on it!

Beets are one of those super foods everyone is talking about. They're low in fat, high in fibre and antioxidants which are powerful cancer inhibitors because they help to inhibit cell mutations. They also contain vitamins A & C as well as folic acid! Another added benefit if you're a lover of the colour pink -- they will dye your hands a pretty pink colour if you're not careful when peeling them! Win, win!

When I presented these cupcakes to my family, at first they were very excited ... then they got suspicious. "What healthy stuff did you put in them, Mom?" was their first question. "Moi?" (am I that transparent?!?). So I had Brad and the kids try to guess what mystery ingredient I had hidden within these cupcakes. Some of their guesses made me wonder about them. Fish? Um, no. Cauliflower? No, that was the mashed potato dish I served you awhile back. Carrots & zucchini? Nope!

When I told them the secret ingredient they all just looked confused, shrugged then continued eating. As if they expected no less from me. Beets and chocolate?? Ok, Mom. But once they bit into these cupcakes they wouldn't have cared if I had put fish in them because they tasted divine! Not too rich and nice and moist! I topped them with a simple vanilla frosting and a few Smarties. Needless to say there wasn't a cupcake standing by the end of the weekend! Enjoy!

Can't Be Beet Chocolate Cupcakes
Inspired by :

3/4 cup beet puree (see directions below)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp sour cream
2 eggs, at room temperature
Frosting of your choice

Prepare Beet Puree
Note: To save time in the future, make a lot of puree then freeze the extra for later use. I used 5 medium-sized beets which made 2 1/4 cups of puree.

Place approximately 2-3 beets in a large pot and cover with water. Boil until beets have softened. Let cool then peel. Place beets in a food processor and puree. Note: My beets still had some chunkier bits (don't we all?) so I mashed them up a bit more. Place extra puree in a freezer bag, label clearly, remove excess air and freeze for another use.

Make Muffins
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

In a large bowl, combine the beet puree, balsamic vinegar, vegetable oil, applesauce, milk, sour cream and eggs. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix, making sure not to over beat the mixture.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before icing.


Rachel said...

I am glad you liked them. If you could take down the actual recipe text and just link to the recipe, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Renee said...

Interresting, beet & chocolate cupcakes, I just might have to try that.

I hear you on the "no time" issue regarding Good Reads. I used to blog myself, but just ran out of time. It was unfortunate because I really enjoyed it, but was losing too much sleep trying to keep it going. I work full time outside of the home, so I usually couldn't get to the blog until 10pm. I still think of starting it up by times, but then give my head a shake.
I see you have read some good books, The Red Tent....loved. I so love reading peoples reviews on books. Right now I'm reading Water for Elephants (for the 2nd time). My book club has choosen it and I also want to refresh my memory before I go see the movie. I will anticipate your review on Portia's book, until then....glad I found your blog.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

lol ... I actually just signed up for Good Reads yesterday. After thinking about it I figured I'd give it another shot. If I find that I don't have the time then I'll just close down my Good Reads account.
If you've read "The Red Tent" and loved it have you also read "The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther" by Rebecca Kohn? A really good historical read! I read it back in March '07 and really enjoyed it.

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Definitely ineresting ... "mom what healthy stuff did you try to hide in there" ... sounds like my house! Do the beets really not taste like beets? I've tried using them as a natural coloring before (I hate using any type of chemical coloring in food) and I could not get rid of the beet taste:(

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Definitely ineresting ... "mom what healthy stuff did you try to hide in there" ... sounds like my house! Do the beets really not taste like beets? I've tried using them as a natural coloring before (I hate using any type of chemical coloring in food) and I could not get rid of the beet taste:(

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

I couldn't taste the beets at all. Just make sure you let them totally cool before serving them (which you have to do anyway if you're icing them). When I made brownies with spinach in them (a la Jessica Seinfeld) you could taste the spinach when they were warm. Ew.
Like you, I want to find safer and more natural ways to colour food icings etc without losing the great taste. If you find a way please let me know! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Renee said...

Hey, when I checked in this morning to see if you replied I saw on your side bar Good Reads! Then read your comment. Awesome, you can always copy paste your reviews from here to there, if you want, that would keep it simple. I love the little extras that site has. Email me something to my address and we'll exchange info so I can add you as my friend.
Thanks for your recommendation, I'll add it to my list.

Mo 'Betta said...

Thanks for visiting! I'm always on the lookout for new allergy-friendly recipes too, so maybe we can help each other out! I have lots of recipes posted, but haven't gotten around to posting a recipe index (working on it, but with 3 may take a while!) Living with allergies is a challenge when you have to go outside the protective environment of your allergy-proof home! Thanks for visiting!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

I'd love to share allergen-friendly recipes with you! I agree that finding great tasting, safe alternative recipes can be challenging. For peanuts it's a lot easier to omit or substitute with things like rice krispies (for crunch) or sunflower seeds (in salads). It's the egg free or even dairy free recipes that are intimidating for me. As an avid baker I rely heavily on recipes that use eggs so finding alternatives is a good challenge for me. :)

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