I know, I know, we must all look past the title I’ve given these cupcakes and suspend disbelief! This specific concoction did not start out as Russian soup-inspired, but through the workings of my brain, it has become so! I have been wanting to make a beet and goat cheese cupcake for quite some time now. This weekend, while perusing the stalls at the farmer’s market, I found some lovely beets, and fearing they might be the last of the season (they’ve been slowly disappearing from the market), I bought a pound…or three. Then, fate came my way! On my door step this morning in my produce delivery (a new venture, thanks to www.farmfreshtoyou.com) was a bunch of fresh carrots. Looking in the fridge, I realized I needed to use up my sour cream and goat cheese before leaving on an extended camping trip…the combinations started to form in my head, and before I knew it, I had the makings of a borscht cupcake! Granted, one doesn’t usually find goat cheese in borscht, but it seemed to go so well with everything else!
First, you need to roast and puree your beets! Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Wrap the beet roots (with the skin, but rinsed off) in double layers of aluminum foil.
Roast in the oven until the beets are completely tender (about 40 minutes to an hour). Take the beets out of the oven and allow them to cool. When you can handle them comfortably, peel the skin away from the root either by simply sliding it off with your fingers (I suggest this) or by using a vegetable peeler or paring knife then cut the beets into pieces.
One medium beet – think the size of an apple – was enough for me. Puree it in a food processor. I ended up adding about a tablespoon of water to help get the consistency of puree I wanted. Even with that, it turned out kind of lumpy.
Beet and Carrot Cupcake
- ¼ c. butter
- ⅓ c. white sugar
- ⅓ c. brown sugar (packed)
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- pinch of salt
- ½ c. buttermilk
- ½ c. pureed roasted beets
- ½ c. grated carrots
Heat the oven to 350’F. Cream the butter and sugars (brown and white) and beat in the egg until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and add in alternating amounts with the buttermilk.
Add the beets and carrots and mix until smooth. I love the color the batter ended up! Who needs artificial dyes? :)
Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes (for mini cupcakes…I’m assuming baking time for regular size would be 16-20). I was excited to see that the color held during baking.
Goat Cheese and Sour Cream Frosting
- 4 oz. soft goat cheese
- 2 tbsp. butter, softened
- ¼ c. sour cream
- 2-3 c. powdered sugar
Prepare just like a cream cheese frosting: cream together the goat cheese and butter. Alternately add the sour cream and powdered sugar until you reach the taste and consistency you want.
I couldn’t get the consistency I wanted out of the frosting without losing the taste! Next time, I would add less sour cream, or add it more gradually!
I was pleasantly surprised by this cupcake! The cake itself was fluffy and moist and the taste mirrored that of carrot cake, but you can definitely taste a hint of beet root, too. I wish the lovely red color would have remained, but alas. The goat cheese frosting was such a surprise! It added a very nice tang and the flavor worked very well with the vegetables in the cake. This is still a sweeter cupcake, but definitely one that’s out of the ordinary!