Sunday 13 February 2011

Tickled Pink Beetroot Cupcakes for Valentines Day (GF)

On one of my recent visits to a health food shop in search of some gluten free flours I came across a jar of beetroot powder. What drew my attention was its vibrant purple colour. I had never seen anything like this before and instantly added it to my basket, despite having no clue what to do with it. It turns out it is dehydrated beetroot that has been crushed to a fine powder. Beetroot is highly nutritious but what you are meant to be with the powder I have no idea. The minute I unscrewed the lid the scent of pure beetroot wafted up. Earthy, sweet and mysterious. Have you ever seen anything like it before??

I knew instantly I wanted to try baking with it and decided to use it for some Valentines day inspired cupcakes. When I added it to the cake mix the batter turned a vibrant shocking purple colour. I was so excited and decided I could make some purple velvet cupcakes, based on a red velvet cupcakes – only with natural colouring! However things didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped. After baking, the tops of the cupcakes were a rich deep reddish-purple colour but when I bit into one the inside crumb colour was a reddish golden, rather than the deep rich purple colour I’d hoped for. I’ve seen this happen with other beetroot cakes – what chemical baking magic happens in the oven that makes the colour evaporate I don’t know, but at least they had a lovely golden colour. (Sorry for the lack of photos of the batter, I was so excited I forgot to take any!)

Despite being a little disappointed at the colour, I’m not one to let perfectly good cupcakes go to waste and so decided to decorate them with pink heart sprinkles and some sparkly new edible glitter I’ve just discovered. I also made a few love hearts out of fondant for a more personal touch. The cupcakes themselves were delicious. Light and moist thanks to the almonds and sour cream. The beetroot lent a subtle earthy sweetness to the cakes that was not obviously beetroot, but just added that little something extra. I’ll have to experiment again and try adding more beetroot powder for a stronger hit. Whoever you spend it with – have a great Valentines Day!

P.S. anyone know what the real use of beetroot powder is?

Tickled Pink Beetroot Cupcakes
80g gluten free Doves self raising flour
40g ground almonds
120g unsalted butter
120g caster sugar
2 tsp beetroot powder (available for some health food shops or online)
2 eggs
1 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 170C and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
Make sure the butter is very soft. Place the butter, flour, almonds, sugar, beetroot powder, baking powder, sour cream and eggs into a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. (It will be a shocking purple colour)
Divide the batter into each cupcake liner and bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and springy to the touch.
Transfer to a cooling wire and leave to cool completely before topping with buttercream.
Makes 12 cupcakes

Simple Vanilla Buttercream
130g unsalted butter
260g icing sugar
30ml milk
1 tsp vanilla

Make sure the butter is soft before beating it until light and fluffy.
Sift over the icing sugar, half at a time, beating it into the butter between each addition. Add some of the milk if the mixture is too stiff. Finally beat in the remaning milk and vanilla until you have a smooth creamy icing.
Pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcakes using a star nozzle.
Decorate with sprinkles and edible glitter or any other way you wish.


Suelle said...

Very pretty - especially the ones with the little hearts. Shame about the beetroot colour fading - I've had the same thing happen when using real beetroot. Nigella's cake stays pink, but Nigel Slater's goes brown.

Isn't beetroot powder used as a natural colouring agent (in things like sweets and cake decorating) by people who don't want to use artificial colours?

Rhyleysgranny said...

Gorgeous cup cakes. I can feel your disappointment at the colour. I thought for an instant you had hit on a red velvet mix without all that dreadful colouring. I am going to look out for this powder as I can ice cupcakes for my granddaughter who loves pink. A healthier alternative definitely Thanks

Anne said...

No idea what else to do with beetroot powder, maybe it would work in some interesting (GF of course!) pasta?

The cupcakes are so pretty though, I love the sprinkles, perfect for valentines :)

Chele said...

What a find!! Never even knew beetroot powder existed. Great cupcakes!

Jocie's Mom said...

Ace cupcakes! They look fantastic and I love that you experimented with the beet root powder. If i can find any here (tough on a 70 square island) I'll take a stab at those cupcakes myself.

Thanks for the post!

Nic said...

How cool is the beetroot powder? Love the cupcakes, shame about the colour, but they look fabulous all the same!

Monica H said...

Thanks to you, I now have beetroot powder too! It is a beautiful color.

I'm sorry they didn't stay a vibrant purple, but I 'm sure they were still delicious.

Happy Valentine's Day Katie!

Monica H said...

I wonder how it would be added to smoothies or ice cream? Frozen yogurt?

Or maybe even to tint your frosting?

Unknown said...

I've never tried beatroot before, but after looking at that powder, it looks interesting. I wanna make something with it now :P

The Caked Crusader said...

I wonder if you could use it in the buttercream - no baking would mean it would retain that awesome colour?

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...

I think it is just a colouring. I have some from lovely Steenbergs.

Great Cakes!

Anne has a good point about pasta. Or gnocchi? Or risotto?

Johanna GGG said...

Lovely cupcakes - I have some beetroot powder too that got so lost I had to hunt it out last night - but I too find it doesn't deliver as promised - I think the suggestions of using it in food that doesn't require cooking - such as ice cream and frosting is a great idea

Kelly-Jane said...

I've never seen the powder before, but it does look very interesting, worth a play around with to make red velvet more natural.

Lovely cupcakes.

Anonymous said...

where do you get edible glitter from?

Katie said...

Hi Anonymous,
I got the edible glitter from a cake shop in town. I have bought it in the past from a website called 'Edible Glitter' too

Anonymous said...

Aaw, i am sorry the colour didnt turn our the way u wanted them to be, but these are still very prettyful cupcakes nevertheless. happy v day to u!

Abitofafoodie said...

Very pretty. Never seen beetroot powder either. What a shame the colour didn't remain upon baking - they look great all the same.

Unknown said...

this is just right for the season of love. great pictures in cupcakes online

Caroline said...

They look gorgeous in spite of having lost the deep purple colour. I quite like the orangey red colour that they've turned - I bet you couldn't get them to be that colour easily!

Unknown said...

Oh no, I was so excited to see a pink purple cupcake. No idea what it's used for, but it could be used for soo many things, it's all about experimenting, isn't it? The cupcakes look adorable!

Shrey Patel said...

Awesome Cup Cakes with Recipe..
Recipe Sounds good for this Valentine's Day.
Thanks for Sharing.