Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bloody Beet Cupcakes

I like to hide vegetables in things. Maybe it's my vegan nature. Maybe I physiologically feel better about eating a crapton of sugar if I know there's a bit of spinach hiding in there somewhere. Who knows.

I mentioned before that I'm sorta in a Halloween rut. Usually by now I've pulled a billion spooky recipes out of my butt and shared them all with you. But not this year. Nothing inspired me. Until I went to the farmers market and got a load of those Giant. Red. Beets.

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Beets, in case you don't know, are nature's candy. They are also a sweet cartoon band from the early nineties. I've heard of people who don't care for beets, but I consider those people to be the Bigfoots and Nessies of the foodie world - I've never seen one in person and the pictures I have seen are both blurry and indistinct. 

The best thing about the beet is it's colour. Yes, they come in gold and stripes, but it's the deep dark red that I'm really drawn to. Finally, a natural food colouring that isn't made from bugs

And, wouldn't you know it, that deep dark red is perfect for Halloween.

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I don't want you to be afraid of these little spooky cakes. But, I've got to warn you - As soon as you bite into one, you'll get a little confused. It's a cupcake, your tongue will say, so why does it taste like vegetables? There will be a few mind-blowing seconds as you chew and go from a slightly unsettled to completely smitten. Believe me, we all went through it. But, as you take your second bite, and the taste of sweet beet mixes with the tang of cream cheese and dulce de leche frosting, you'll be completely at peace with the whole situation.

These are Halloween cakes for professionals only. Think of them as the extreme haunted houses of the cupcake world. If you're too scared of a little vegetable matter in your batter, then maybe you should stick to your plain jane vanilla and leave the flavour to the rest of us.

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Bloody Beet Cupcakes
adapted from No Recipes

4 small red beets, or 2 medium ones (roasted and peeled)
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup and 2 Tablespoons warm butter (cut into small cubes)
1 cup + 1 Tablespoon flour
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2) Take out your blender or food processor and pop your roasted beets. Whirl for a bit so their texture is that of chunky hummus. Add the two eggs and process for another minute or so, until pretty light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and butter to your food process and whirl until there are no bitties of butter left in your mixture (this should take at least two minutes).

3) Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is incorporated. Scoop into cupcake liners (should make just under a dozen cupcakes) and bake 17-20 minute, or until your cake tester comes out clean. Set out to cool.

Simple Dulce de Leche Cream Cheese Icing
1/4 cup of butter
4 ounces of cream cheese
1 can of condensed milk turned dulce de leche (you can find directions here)
confectioner's sugar (a cup or more)
a couple pinches of sea salt
roasted yellow beets, for decoration

1) With an electric mixer, mix up your butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the homemade dulce de leche and a couple pinches of sea salt. Continue mixing. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar - adding more will make it sweeter and thicker. I usually just add a cup, because I don't like how sweet it gets, but you can add more depending on your taste.

2) Take the roasted yellow beets and cut out decorations for the top of your cupcake - I used a linzer cookie bat cutter. Frost to cupcakes with a small off-set knife and top with your yellow beet. Enjoy and spook out your friends a bit.


S.V. said...

I love beets and I love that you sneak veggies into things lol. The cupcakes look and sound fantastic.

Unknown said...

Courtney, these look great. I love using beets in my cupcakes and cakes. The crumb is very delicate but firm. Love the bats!

Lora said...

Fabulous and that icing looks divine!

Charlotte Ferreux said...

I love this recipe and blog...I posted it on my community foodie blog. Hope you can come check it out

Also, feel free to post you're recipes or you're favourite foodie tips on it whenever you like!

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