Beetroot and chocolate cupcakes...

Chocolate cupcakes, I know I might not be very inventive here, but... how about chocolate cupcakes with an addition of beetroot? I promise you won't even know it's there! And how about sneaking that one of "five a day" to your children? Or maybe even yourself?
If I haven't baked those myself, I wouldn't have a faintest idea that there's anything unusual/different about them, that in fact, there's a beetroot in my cake! The result is fantastic resulting in moist, but not stodgy, slightly sweet, not over chocolaty cupcake, with a nice crumb.

beetroot and chocolate cupcakes

I hear you - "I don't want to cook and peel beetroots, it's a messy, messy job!". Yes, it is, but I'm not asking you to do all that. How about buying those funny looking vacuum packs of pre-cooked, already peeled, vacuum packed beetroots? I don't know, if that's the case in other countries (I presume it is), but in Ireland those are one of the cheapest vegetables you can buy. Half a kilo of beetroots already prepped for you! All you have to do is grate them, or even better - blitz, if you have means of doing that.

halloween beetroot and chocolate cupcakes

Those chocolate cupcakes are perfect not only for Halloween, but seeing as beetroot is that bloody red in colour and it's an Autumn veg, I believe it's a perfect match for that spooky holiday! Some cheap cupcake cases and few ghost cake decorations from Euroshop/Dollar store and you have yourself a brilliant idea for a Halloween party! But... it's so easy to make any other decoration on top, or simply sprinkle it with some icing sugar and it's the perfect afternoon treat for any day of the year.

How to make it...
- 200 g self raising flour
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 180 g caster sugar
- 300 g cooked and peeled
- 3 medium eggs
- 150 ml sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

- 1/2 cup dark chocolate or milk chocolate buttons
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/4 cup white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 190 C and line 2 12-hole muffin tins with muffin cases.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and the caster sugar.
Using a food processor with the blade attachment, purée the beetroot until liquid and smooth, or you can grate it on the finest grater you have (which I have done myself using a microplane). Transfer the beetroot to a stand mixer, or into a big bowl to use hand held electric whisk, add the eggs one by one, mixing between each addition.
With the motor running on the mixer, gradually pour in the oil and vanilla essence, mixing until fully combined. Gradually start adding all the dry ingredients, mixing until all ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth.
Divide the batter between the muffin cases, filling each one up to two-thirds full. The recipe will make about 12-16 cupcakes. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the cupcakes are risen and bounce back when you press them lightly. Leave in the tins for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely while you make the topping.

Take a small microwave proof bowl and put your milk chocolate and milk in it, place in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Take out, stir well to make all the chocolate is melted. Pour about a teaspoon of chocolate on each cupcakes, enough to cover the top completely.
In a similar way, melt the white chocolate. Make a little cone out of a baking parchment (this will be your piping bag) and pipe circles on top of each cupcake. Using a tooth pick/skewer, drag delicate lines starting from the center, going out, to create a web effect.

Decorate your cupcakes with chocolate only after they've completely cooled!


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