Fearless Fridays are all about pushing boundaries in the kitchen. It’s trying new techniques, recipes, or ingredients. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. All of you are welcome to share your recent kitchen adventures either in the link list or by sharing in the comments. A lot of people forget that cooking is a skill that takes practice, they throw their hands in the air saying, “It’s hopeless.” Good cooks make mistakes. The difference? A good cook tries to figure out what went wrong. So on the first Friday of every month join other Home Ec readers as we try new things, even though they don’t always work out so well.
This June’s Fearless Friday had mixed results. Totally delicious but not quite what I was hoping for. My four-year-old has an intolerance -as in it’s not a true food allergy where we need to carry an epi-pen- to Red Dye #40. I don’t know if it makes him feel unwell but has extreme behavioral effects. So much so that family knows the threat is, that if he has red dye at their homes, he gets to spend the nights. We’re all about logical consequences, no?
So, the poor kid never gets to have anything red or purple unless I shell out for the big buck organic stuff and why bother when it’s just a treat we shouldn’t really be eating in the first place? This irks him, so I thought I’d work on finding an alternative.
I stumbled across the idea of using beets for red velvet cake recently, and while I cannot find the original source where the author had great success. This recipe was moderately successful. The taste? FABULOUS? Unfortunately, the red was muted by having too much cocoa powder and the cake was too richly chocolate for the cream cheese frosting I chose. Next time buttercream frosting (or heck, nothing would have been fine).
When I make it next week, I will eliminate the baking soda and reduce the cocoa by 1/4 cup, increasing the flour to keep the moisture constant.
Not So Red, but Oh So Velvet Cupcakes Recipe
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup unbleached, plain flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa, Do Not Use Dutch Process it changes the pH
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup beet pureed or finely shredded (raw & peeled) I used a food processor
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs @ room temperature, beaten
- 1 TBSP plain or Greek style yogurt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 and spray or line a 12 cupcake pan.
In a medium bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Exciting.
In a food processor or blender, puree a beet or two if they are small, you need just 3/4 cup, I firmly packed the beet puree. I rinsed and dried the food process and returned the beet puree. To this, I added the vegetable oil, yogurt, and buttermilk. Once everything was mixed well, I added the eggs and pulsed until they were incorporated.
This batter depends entirely on a chemical reaction for height, so get these cupcakes scooped by th 1/3 cup full and into the oven.
Bake at 350F for 15 – 18 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
Frost when completely cool and enjoy.