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)
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
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.