The Big Three Zero
Well, it’s official. I’m 30 today!
I really do feel like 30 is the new 20 for my generation. To be honest, I feel like I’m in better physical shape than I was for most of my twenties and I’m really excited to see what the next decade holds!
To celebrate, I made myself some really good cupcakes. They have two kinds of beets in them, but you would never know it unless I told you… which I just did.
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes
3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup roasted, shredded red beets (about 4 small beets)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup roasted, shredded beets (about 1 small beet)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
4-5 cups powdered sugar
Wire mesh sifter
Food processor or box grater
Piping bag or just use a plastic bag with the end snipped off
1) Cut off stems for beets and lay them out on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F. until they are tender, about an hour for small beets. If you get larger ones you'll have to add on 15-20 minutes.
2) Let beets cool slightly, then peel them and grate them using either a box grater or food processor. The want the beet shreds to be very fine for the batter and somewhat fine for the frosting.
3) Stir together dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder). Sift cocoa powder to remove clumps.
4) In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugars until they are soft and light. Then add in one egg at a time and stir in vanilla. Finally, mix in shredded beets.
5) Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined. Then add buttermilk and mix. Then add the last half of the dry ingredients and mix until you can see no flour. Try not to over mix it.
6) Spoon batter out in 1/4 cup cupcakes into a prepared tin. Then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 17-18 minutes until a tester comes out clean from the center. Let cupcakes cool before frosting.
7) For frosting, beat together butter, cream cheese, vanilla, milk, a pinch of salt, and shredded beets. When it's smooth, starting adding powdered sugar until it reaches the thickness you want. You'll need 4-5 cups of powdered sugar.
8) When cupcakes are cool, frost them and serve!
Adapted from a Joy the Baker cake recipe.
I always heard that you can make good cakes with beets and they have an almost red velvet feel to them. The batter turns a deep red color and the flavor changes subtly. Beets and chocolate actually go really well together so it all works out.
You need to roast the beets though before you can use them in the batter. Just cut off the stems and roast them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. I used smaller beets so they roast faster. If you use larger ones, it might take 90 minutes.
When the the beets are cool enough to handle you can peel them easily with a small paring knife.
I wanted a golden beet for the frosting.
I wanted the beets in pretty small shreds for both the frosting and the batter so I just ran them through my food processor. You could use a box grater also, but if you do you’ll want to chop them up a bit after you grate them so they are in fine shreds.
If you have a food processor, just shred them and then pulse them for a few seconds.
For the red beets I pulsed them into even smaller pieces. I didn’t want any huge chunks in the batter.
You can actually make most of the batter while you’re roasting your beets.
This batter comes together in two pieces like most batters. There’s your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder). It helps to sift your cocoa powder to eliminate lumps.
Meanwhile, cream together the butter and two sugars in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until the mixture is light and soft.
Then add in your eggs and vanilla to the creamed butter.
Once those are mixed in, fold in your shredded red beets. I used roughly a cup. If you use a bit more or less though, it shouldn’t affect the recipe.
Then add half of the dry ingredients, followed by the buttermilk, and then the last half of the dry ingredients. Gently mix each of these additions into the batter base. Then your batter is done!
Portion out your cupcakes into 1/4 cup portions. You should get about 24 cupcakes.
Bake these guys at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until a tester comes out of the center clean. This should take about 17-18 minutes.
Then let your cupcakes cool before frosting.
The frosting I used for these is a basic cream cheese frosting with the grated golden beets folded in. I was hoping that this would turn the frosting a goldish color, but it didn’t really work. If you used red beets, I think you would get a better color.
Just beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, milk, and a pinch of salt. Then add your beets and powdered sugar until it’s nice and thick.
Frost each cupcake liberally! I use a piping bag for this but you can just slather it on however you like. No need to get fancy.
Bring it on thirty. If I can make chocolate beet cupcakes, I can handle a new decade.