Towards the end of my last post I moaned a little about how badly my red velvet cupcakes had turned out. However, due to a smattering of public demand I have decided to post the recipe for all of you beetroot lovers out there. Please, be assured that if you like beetroot then this recipe is for you; the flavour is subtle, yet delicious and the texture is surprisingly light. Of course, as I am never one to give in, the red velvet cupcakes will eventually see the light of day.
This morning when attempting to ice these little beetroot wonders, I discovered that using a piping bag is harder than it looks. To be honest, a delicate touch has never been particularly evident in the frugal family, but it didn’t seem as though such an attribute was necessarily a requirement. even so, they were an absolute mess and ended up being iced in the most primitive fashion possible; though they are still pretty, in my eyes. Nothing seemed to be going quite to plan during the icing process; my intention had been to give it a little red tinge with a drop or two of food colouring. Indeed, our cupboards were entirely devoid of the necessary goods.
This recipe reminds me of a quote I once heard on some forgotten cookery programme. The presenter argued that one can make a delicious cake using almost any ingredient one wants, as long as one prepares it in the correct way. This appears to be a most agreeable statement, for despite the fact the beetroot did not succeed in turning my batter red, it did give it an extremely rich and dark hue. Indeed, though the cupcakes themselves are not quite to my liking, they are very pretty and jolly good to look at. If anyone has any tips for me, with regards to using a piping bag, they shall be gladly accepted. If truth be told, and I think it must, I need all the help I can get.
For the Cake:
• 2 small beetroots
• 120ml sunflower oil
• 60ml milk
• ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
• 2 eggs
• 150g plain flour
• 150g caster sugar
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp bi-carbonate of soda
• A generous pinch of salt
For the Icing:
• 200g full-fat soft cheese
• 50g butter
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• 70g icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 200C, place the beets in an oven dish with a little water and bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove the skins, chop and place in a food processor, blend until the chunks are tiny.
2. Whilst the beets are roasting mix together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and all the wet ingredients in a measuring jug. Slowly and thoroughly fold the wet ingredients into the dry; ensure that there are no lumps. Once the beets are prepared fold them into the mixture. Turn the oven down to 180C, spoon the mixture equally into cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes. You can test whether they are cooked by plunging a knife into them. If it comes out clean, they are ready.
3. To make the icing simply mix all of the ingredients together. Make sure there are no lumps and return to the fridge for 5-10 minutes before icing.
Cost: Beetroot is incredibly cheap, particularly at this time of year; two of them set me back a mere 50p. As such, these cupcakes are extremely cheap, especially when one considers how many are made with this recipe. Indeed, the entire batch, including icing, should set one back around £2.10. Not bad at all, though only if you like beetroot.
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