Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting

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Today marks the fourth year of Pro Bono Baker.  Through a pleasant path of various apartments, relationships, jobs and adventures, I can't think of anything in my adult life that I've stuck with quite as long -- except perhaps college -- and even then I transferred. I've gushed about all the wonderful friends, recipes and stories this site has provided me with on previous birthdays.  This year, I'll leave it at a simple thank you to everyone who visits, both quietly and conversationally.   This wouldn't be nearly as fun without your company.

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To celebrate, I made a recipe that I've been mulling over for the past month or two: Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting. This treat is seasonal and packed with antioxidants.  Not a bad way to enjoy the new year.

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 C roasted beet puree (about two medium beets)*

.5 C unsalted butter, melted

1 C sugar

.25 C brown sugar

2 eggs

.25 C milk

.75 C flour

.5 C unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

.25 tsp salt

Method

Preheat oven to 350F

In a large bowl mix together the beet puree, butter, sugars, eggs and milk.  In a medium bowl mix together the remaining ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine until you have a smooth batter.  Fill muffin cups two-thirds full and bake for 25 minutes at 350F, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Roasting makes the beets sweeter.  To roast, rinse the beets and cover with foil.  Roast in the oven at 375F for about an hour, or until easily pierced with a fork.  Let cool slightly and chop off the root end.  Rub with your hands to remove the skins.  Roughly chop and puree in a food processor.  It's okay if the puree is slightly chunky.

Makes about 12 cupcakes.  They will stay moist over-night.

Goat Cheese Frosting

Adapted from the gorgeous Harvest Cake at The Kitchn.

Ingredients

5 oz goat cheese, at room temperature

3 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

.5 C powdered sugar

.25 C pure maple syrup

Method

Beat together the cheeses until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Finally, add the syrup and mix until blended evenly.

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