These beet cupcakes have a moist tender crumb and a vibrant golden hue thanks to the roasted beet puree in the batter. The dulce de leche mousseline buttercream, highlights the earthy flavors in the cupcake while adding a satiny creaminess that melts into a pool of caramely goodness on your tongue.
This is my submission into April's Dinner and a Movie. For those not familiar with the event, each month, Susan from Sticky Gooey Chewy Creamy or I choose a movie that will hopefully inspire a culinary endeavor. This month, I chose Wedding Crashers. It's not really a food movie, but since the whole movie is about weddings, and two guys that try and pass themselves off as guests, I thought there were a couple creative directions people could go with the theme.
For my entry, I went with the second half of the title. I've never actually crashed a wedding myself, but blending in without getting noticed seems like an enticing challenge. I "crashed" these ordinary cupcakes by sneaking in a whole golden beet, and unless I told you otherwise, these little guys could pass as yellow velvet cakes.
If you eat these cupcakes without the frosting, you can almost get away with calling them healthy, since half the sugar comes from the beet puree. Then there's all the vitamins and minerals from the nutrient rich beets... At least that's what you can tell yourself as you pipe a few tablespoons of butter and sugar on top.
I know... the piping work is bad. One of the kinder remarks I got was that they look like cute little snails, and I won't even mention the other reference as it might dissuade you from making these. While it was mostly my lack of piping skills to blame here, part of the problem was the fact that I went tipless since I didn't have a round tip big enough to get the effect I was going for.
Aside from their looks, I was pretty happy with the way these cupcakes turned out. Moist, tender, and vibrant, there's a lot of possibilities here, using both red and yellow beets. This also has me thinking about what other vegetables I can sneak into cupcakes... avocados... stinging nettles... brussel sprouts? Okay, well maybe brussel sprouts is taking it a bit too far, but you get the idea:-)
For butter cream
- Wrap a whole beet in foil and roast in a 350 degree oven until tender (about 1 hour). Allow to cool, then peel and roughly chop. Add to food processor with eggs and process until smooth and creamy.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, use a fork to whisk together the cake flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment, beat in the the butter until well incorporated. Add the beet and egg mixture and mix until just combined (do not overmix).
- Fill the cupcake molds about 2/3 of the way full and put the pan in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to prevent the cupcakes from overcooking and becoming dry. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
- For the butter cream, beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until they hold stiff peaks. Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan until it reaches 245 degrees F. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg whites being very careful not to splash the hot sugar on yourself. When you're done adding the sugar, turn the mixer back up to high and whisk until the egg mixture has cooled down.
- Add the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time until it is fully incorporated. Add the dulce de leche then whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy. If it's too soft, put it in the fridge for a few minutes to chill, then whisk again.
- Put the frosting in a piping bag with a large round tip and frost the cupcakes in a swirling pattern.