Creativity with your baking

Leftover beets? Make cupcakes, of course!

I’m not really sure why I picked up beets at the grocery–no one in our house really likes them, and I don’t know how to cook them. Makes sense, right?

Naomi had been traumatized by the use of beet juice to color Valentine’s Day cookies many years ago (turns out that’s totally legit, but I didn’t know it then), so I haven’t really tried any recipes with them since them. A few months ago, I started chopping them up and putting them in smoothies, but the smoothie rather tastes a bit like dirt if you’re not careful.

These 3 beets been languishing in the fridge for about a month. Turns out you’re supposed to cook them a lot sooner than that. Although the stems had pretty much gotten all soggy and slimy, the beets themselves looked pretty good.

Although I’ve eaten very little refined sugar in the last month, I was in the mood to bake last night. This after my soufflé flopped (literally) and looked like it belonged on an episode of America’s Worst Cooks.

Beetroot on woodSo I had these beets which needed to be used, especially because they were organic and I paid a lot for them.  Again, it led me to wonder why on earth I thought we needed beets.

Beets + need to bake = dessert.

Say what?

I stumbled upon a recipe from Minimalist Baker for Fudgy Vegan Beet Cupcakes, so I thought I’d give them a try.

The first step was to roast the beets, which I’d never done before. Roasted beets are actually pretty good, I was happy to discover.

Next, you purée them with a little water or OJ (I used the juice), and that’s a big part of the brownie mixture.  Those who eat the cupcakes aren’t supposed to tell that there are any beets in there, but this recipe was doomed from the start because the kids saw the puréed beets on the counter.

Since I have a nasty little habit of sneaking veggies into food, they knew what I was up to.

The recipe is very easy to follow, although you’re supposed to sift the flour (my sifter broke last month and hasn’t been replaced) and I used gluten-free flour instead of whole wheat or all-purpose, which is what the recipe called for.

The Minimalist Baker promise for these cupcakes:

They require one bowl
They’re vegan
They really don’t need frosting
They’re rich, moist and cakey
They are fudgy and addictive
They don’t taste like beets
Not one bit

Substituting GF flour in recipes works a lot of times, but the end results aren’t necessarily the same as recipes with gluten’d (I made up that word) flour.

The batter seemed a little off to me, so I added a tiny bit more sugar (the recipe calls for only 3/4 cup). I wonder if I mis-measured the beets, because the batter was surprisingly red. However, the cooked cupcakes looked definitely more like regular chocolate ones.

The end result: you could definitely tell there were beets in the recipe when the cupcakes were hot. Cooled down, not so much. I wonder if it’s either because I accidentally put in too much or if because the beets were so old.

The results: Blaise (6) loved them and ate 2. Ava (12) and Elijah (14) wouldn’t try them, Mariana (15) said hers was “fine”, and Thérèse (12) said hers was good. Paul said they smelled too “earthy” and didn’t like it (although to be fair, he does have a nose like a bloodhound).

When I added a little fresh ground PB like icing, mine was pretty delicious. They are indeed fudgy.

I’ll try the recipe again and see if they’re less “beet-y” next time. Perhaps I should uses beets that are only a few days old next time too. And for heaven’s sake, I’ll make them when the kids don’t see the beet purée.