Clearly I've been in Germany for a while when I try to write 'schokolade' instead of chocolate for the title. We're in a bit of a weird season right now, where there is new plant life starting to pop up, but I'm still living off root vegetables that keep well during the winter months. It's the strangest thing to have flowers blooming everywhere at the beginning of March - my parents are blocked in by over a metre of snow right now and all the highways have been closed at home for a couple days due to a big snowstorm. Isn't that what spring is like for everyone? Hah.
Beets are one of my favourite root vegetables. You might remember this beet hot chocolate I posted in February, and I feel pretty good about posting another chocolate and beet recipe, because it's an awesome combination. They're meant to be. The first bite of one of these muffins might be a little surprisingly beet-y but the chocolate takes over pretty quickly. If you have a sad lonely beet sitting in the bottom of your crisper, shred it up and make some muffins, then feed the muffins to your children and laugh at fooling them into eating beets. They'll just see chocolate on top of more chocolate and think it's a special treat. Make sure to have one of these muffins while it's still warm to experience the gooey chocolate on top! (And then check your teeth and face after, you'll be covered in chocolate.)
Despite the bright red colour of the beets, you really can't see it in these muffins, because they're heavy on cocoa for a dark chocolate flavour. If you're looking for a naturally red chocolate cupcake, I recommend Traci's recipe over at Vanilla and Bean. It's vegan too.
My friend Ashley and I are going to Stockholm at the beginning of May (right before my wedding) so if you have any suggestions/recommendations please let me know in the comments! I've never visited other European countries, other than Germany, so I'm looking forward to it.
There are several notes for this recipe, because I did a few tests with some different ingredients - please read them for extra tips and substitutions.
Chocolate Beet Muffins
Makes one dozen
1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder*
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 1/2 cup oat or nut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted*
3/4 cup grated (raw) red beet, packed
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F and grease or line a standard muffin tin.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate, reserving a couple of tablespoons for topping the muffins with.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the milk and coconut oil until combined. Mix in the grated beet (everything will turn bright pink).
Add the wet beet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Measure out approximately equal amounts into each muffin tin and then top with the leftover chocolate.
Bake on the centre rack for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool for ten minutes in the tin before removing and cooling completely on a rack. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.
• Don't worry about peeling your beet(s) if they're organic. Just give them a wash, you won't notice the skin in the finished product.
• I now use vanilla powder and chopped chocolate in place of vanilla extract and chocolate chips because extract and chips are prohibitively expensive and fairly rare here. Canadian/American readers, just add extract to the wet ingredients and use chocolate chips if you prefer. That goes for almost all of my recipes.
1. I prefer dark cocoa powder in this recipe for a deeper chocolate flavour, but I have tested it with natural cocoa powder (cacao) because I ran out of dark cocoa. They'll be quite a bit lighter with natural cocoa and slightly more red, almost purple. I recommend using dark cocoa if you can, and don't bother using raw cacao in this recipe, it's a waste of money if you're baking it anyway.
2. You can substitute olive oil for the coconut oil if you don't have any, but they are more dense and, in my opinion, overall more pleasant with coconut oil.