I know, chocolate beetroot cupcakes sound unusual. Yet the beetroot in these cupcakes makes these cupcakes super moist, without being cloyingly sweet. The chocolate creme frâiche frosting is the perfect accompaniment. They are delicious in Autumn or any time of the year and are the final cupcakes in our Autumn cupcake quartet.
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So where did this idea come from?
He loves beetroot so much, that Mum convinced him on one trip away to try some chocolate beetroot cake. Now, it’s his go-to cake whenever it is on the menu. He’s never had it as a cupcake though.
Beetroot is a wonderful Fall vegetable – serve it roasted as a side dish with roasted pumpkin, sweet potato and onion. Yum! It is a great source of vitamin C, is one of the most potent antioxidant vegetables and one of the richest sources of glutamine, an amino acid essential to intestinal health. I know I could do with a vitamin boost in Autumn!
Now is the perfect time to try and make these chocolate beetroot cupcakes. I just wish Dad was here to be my expert taste-tester.
Tips for the chocolate beetroot cupcakes
The only downside to this chocolate beetroot cupcakes recipe is the number of bowls you will need to wash.
If, unlike my Dad, you are not a fan of beetroot, don’t taste the beetroot. It just helps to make the chocolate cupcakes super moist, very chocolatey and absolutely delicious.
DO NOT use a can of (pickled) beetroot! The vinegar from the ‘juice’ will ruin the cupcakes. Plain beetroot has a subtle, slightly woody sweetness, which lends itself wonderfully to the cupcakes.
At least in Europe, you can normally find cooked and peeled beetroot in vacuum-sealed packets in the fresh fruit and
Of course, you can peel and cook your own beetroot. However, this can make a real mess, so I prefer to use pre-cooked and peeled beetroot. However, as an added bonus, you can use any beetroot leftovers or extras to dye fabric (or Easter eggs) a dusky pink.
Tips for the chocolate creme frâiche frosting
I made the (almost catastrophic) mistake of buying milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate at the supermarket. I know – I was concentrating on mummying and not on what I was putting in the trolley. Milk chocolate is okay but dark chocolate is So. Much. Better. Trust me: use dark chocolate.
This frosting is great on brownies or Texas sheet cake or as a filling in any chocolate cake. It tends to be a little too runny to pipe onto cupcakes but is otherwise a great recipe to have in your stash for whenever you need something easy and delicious and not too sweet.
The advantages: it’s satiny smooth, super easy, very versatile and delicious.
This reminds me: I should share Mum’s recipe for Texas sheet cake!
Our Autumn cupcake quartet
These chocolate beetroot cupcakes with chocolate creme frâiche frosting are the final cupcakes in our Autumn cupcake quartet. The beetroot makes them an easy (if a little messy) Fall favourite. The rich chocolate cupcake teams beautifully with the versatile and silky creme frâiche frosting.
They are delicious and moist and perfect for afternoon tea, especially in Autumn.
Which one of our Autumn cupcake quartet is your favourite? Which one are you going to try?
Chocolate beetroot cupcakes with chocolate creme frâiche frosting
For the cupcakes
- 200 g butter
- 250 g of beetroot cooked and peeled
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 4 tbsp hot espresso
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder heaped
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 5 eggs separated
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
For the frosting
- 400 g dark chocolate
- 400 mL creme frâiche
- 1 tsp vanilla essence or vanilla sugar.
For the cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 180°c. Line a muffin pan with patty pans.
- Blend the beetroots in a food processor or blender to a rough purée.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of hot water. Pour in the hot coffee. Chop the butter into cubes (approx. 1cm cubes) and stir into the chocolate. Remove the bowl from the water and stir, allowing the butter to melt.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa together in another bowl and set aside.
- Separate the eggs. Whisk the yolks in another bowl until frothy. Add the sugar and whisk until pale yellow.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs and mix briefly then fold in the beetroot purée.
- Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form.
- Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour mixture.
- Fill the patty pans until they are 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool totally before frosting.
For the frosting
- Melt the chocolate using whatever method you prefer.
- Add the creme frâiche and vanilla essence and whisk until well combined.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. The frosting will be runny at first but it will thicken nicely as it cools. Whisk the frosting occasionally to avoid lumps.
- Once the frosting has cooled and thickened, use it to frost the cupcakes.