Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vegan chocolate beet cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting

Breakfast: Flax granola with banana and strawberries

Lunch: Balsamic salad with one (ok two) vegan chocolate beet cupcakes with buttercream frosting

Dinner: Vegetable rolls with noodles at Green Earth

All credit for this idea has to go to one of my very best friends, Scouse Claire (alright, la?). She requested (nay, demanded) that I make a chocolate and beetroot cake having had one in Edinburgh, and though it took me months to wait til beetroot season to get round to it, this recipe is very much for her.

Of course, it's never quite as black and white as that. I had to make these vegan, and due to my general impatience with baking whole cakes, I made the much quicker cupcakes instead. I should really have gone the whole hog and deep fried them, to get the real Scottish flavour, but perhaps next time.

My immediate response to the idea of beets in a cake was mild revulsion, but you'll be amazed at how the beet flavour assimilates into the chocolate flavour, leaving you with incredibly decadent cupcakes that also contain a superfood!

You'll need:
(Makes 12 cupcakes or 1 cake)
2 large beetroot
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups wholewheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa (make sure it's vegan)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup soy butter (or vegan margarine)
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases
Peel the beetroots and chop them into small chunks
Boil for 15-20 minutes, or until tender
Drain and puree with the water
Pour the almond milk and apple cider vinegar into a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cocoa, sugar and nutmeg
Stir the beetroot puree into the almond milk mixture, along with the vanilla extract
Stir the beetroot and almond mixture into the flour mixture until just combined
Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes, or until cupcakes and risen and a toothpick comes out clean
Allow to cool before frosting
Place the butter into a mixer / blender along with 1/3 of the cocoa and icing sugar
Mix, adding more and more cocoa and icing as you go
Stop once the perfect consistency is reached*
*You can add 2-3 tbsp of almond milk if necessary

This recipe can still be used to make a whole cake; just pour into a cake tin rather than a cupcake one and extend the baking time by another 15-20 minutes, bringing the cake out of the oven when a toothpick comes out clean. You might also have to make another half as much frosting, depending on how much of thick swamp of frosting you want to get through before you reach the actual cake.

These are just food porn, let's be honest.

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