Chocolate Beetroot Muffins

This is not an original concept (this specific recipe is of my own device though) - everybody has been talking about chocolate and beetroot cakes and brownies - and I was curious enough to give it a try...

I am very pleased with their light sponge texture and rounded chocolate flavour.

The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 180g Self raising flour
  • 180g Caster sugar
  • 140g Margarine or soft butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 125g Cooked beetroot
  • 75g Chocolate bar
  • 2 Heaped teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

chocolatebeetroot1.JPGAt the risk of attracting scorn, I am using cooked prepacked beetroot

I could have cooked and peeled some fresh beets myself, but this is a good product - the only ingredient is cooked beetroot - it's perfectly fine for this recipe.

For heaven's sake don't use prepacked beetroot that has been picked in vinegar for this though!

chocolatebeetroot2.JPGThis is pretty much an all-in-one recipe - so, flour, butter, sugar and all of the other ingredients except the beetroot and solid chocolate go straight into a big bowl.

Then add the beetroot is after finely shredding it either in a food processor, by hand, or any other method that will reduce it to small shreds.

Now is the time to preheat the oven to 180 C.

chocolatebeetroot3.JPGBlend the ingredients together into a uniform batter using an electric beater, or food processor.

It may still look lumpy at this point, but those lumps are little pieces of beetroot - and that's fine.

chocolatebeetroot4.JPGChop or smash the solid chocolate into small pieces.

Add it to the mixture and stir in thoroughly.

chocolatebeetroot5.JPGDistribute the mixture evenly into twelve muffin cases.

I also dropped a few extra squares of chocolate on each and pushed them gently into the top.

chocolatebeetroot6.JPGBake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until done.

(Test by pushing a clean wooden toothpick into the middle of one of the cakes - if it comes out clean, they're done.)

chocolatebeetroot7.JPG

Serving Suggestion

These muffins are great to eat just as they are, but can be transformed into a really special little dessert, as follows:

Slice a muffin in half horizontally and place both halves cut side up.

Carefully spoon on about a tablespoonful (half each side) of your favourite liqueur or spirit - I used the Bullace brandy I made earlier in the year, but you could use plain brandy, kirsch, crème de cassis, etc. It will soak readily into the cake.

Add a spoonful of Greek yoghurt on the bottom half, then replace the top.

Garnish with some grated chocolate and a few more drops of the liqueur.

chocolatebeetroot8.JPG

Chocolate And Beetroot

I tried this just because I was curious about the combination of flavours - so what does chocolate and beetroot taste like?

Well, perhaps surprisingly, it tastes mostly of chocolate. Although the flavour of the beetroot was quite discernible when I tried one warm, by the time the muffins have cooled fully, the flavour becomes quite unified and blended.

So, is it pointless then? I would say not.

Flavour Enhancement

You can't easily separate the two flavour components in the finished article, but the result is a rich and yes, slightly earthy, complex chocolate flavour.

So the beetroot acts here mostly as a flavour enhancer - making the chocolate taste more like itself.

More Chocolate

This recipe is intentionally quite light on the chocolate - it doesn't suffer from this at all - I just wanted to test the chocolate / beetroot interaction in moderation.

I've seen other recipes containing mountainous volumes of cocoa, so I might try something a bit more powerful sometime...

 

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