Welcome to Underground Culinary Lab!
To start off, me and my partner-in-crime (PIC), also known as Ricelessasian, wanted to begin our journey into the food blogosphere by creating a healthy yet decadent dessert. We love the idea of pairing a nutritious & fresh ingredient with a higher calorie item because we truly believe and live by the idea that there IS such a thing as a ‘healthy’ dessert that avoids compromising its delicious flavour.
We chose a wonderful recipe that we were both inspired by when we attended a Healthy Baking event at school. Few people would think of using beets in their desserts, let alone in cupcakes, because of their ‘earthy’ flavour, but we appreciated the subtleness of the beet flavour in the final chocolate cupcake product. TIP: using beet puree is an awesome substitute to using red food colouring that is au naturel when making THE People’s Choice dessert: Red Velvet Cupcakes.
Just recently, Ricelessasian thought of a way of ‘tweaking’ the recipe to making it even more nutritious…and at the same time, taste good! Instead of just plain dark chocolate frosting, we incorporated avocado to ‘up’ the omega-3 fatty acids (the GOOD fats), which made the frosting richer and more luscious. Though I doubted how it would taste like at first, just like I do with the notion of savory desserts, I love…love…loved them! The three empty cupcake liners are good evidence of that.
Hope you enjoy them too!
A note from Ricelessasian: Don’t put as much frosting as we did in each cupcake or it’ll be too rich. I got carried away with the frosting. 🙂
Chocolate Beet Cupcakes (makes 11-12 cupcakes)
Original recipe by Maria. The only change we did was replacing the butter in the recipe with non-hydrogenated margarine.
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine or butter
3/8 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
5/8 cup skim milk
1/2 cup beet puree*
*To make beet puree, boil peeled beets in unsalted water until fork tender (it took us about 45 minutes). Once cooked, let the beets cool and slice into chunks. Puree beets in a food processor.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, cream non-hydrogenated margarine and sugar together. Add egg and vanilla; mix well.
- Mix flour mixture and wet ingredients (beet puree and milk) in three alternating batches, starting and ending with flour mixture. After each addition, beat well and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
- Fill 11-12 cupcake liners with the batter evenly. Bake just until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cupcake comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
TIP: To get fuller looking cupcakes, make only 11 cupcakes.
Chocolate Avocado Frosting (enough to frost 12 cupcakes with some leftovers)
2 large avocados
~50 g chocolate of your choice (we used 72% dark chocolate)
1/2- 1 cup powdered sugar*
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Skim milk (optional)
* Amount of sugar depends on what type of chocolate you use. Since we used 72% dark chocolate, we used 1 cup powdered sugar.
- Melt chocolate using double boiler or by heating in the microwave in 30 second intervals, mixing the chocolate in between intervals. This will prevent the chocolate from being overheated.
- Puree avocados in a food processor. You might have to add some skim milk if you have a difficult time pureeing the avocados. Add cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and melted chocolate to the avocado puree. Blend well.
- Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to stabilize the frosting.
Feel free to make any adjustments to the amount of ingredients we used. This frosting has a strong dark chocolate twist to it.