picture by Laurel Bocka
Recently my oldest brother celebrated his 70th birthday.
His family wanted a five layer cake to commemorate the day and I decided to make the top layer.
The other layers were: bottom- Dark chocolate peanut butter, second-Strawberry Butter cream,
third-Meringue butter with berry lemon cream, fourth-fresh winter fruit cake with caramel glaze and
red velvet cupcakes with white chocolate frosting.
The idea came from a Rachael Ray article from her magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray.
Anyway- we got together the day after we returned from Virginia and so I made the
cupcake portion of my contribution at Meredith’s house.
Interestingly, this recipe calls for red beets rather than a lot of food coloring to make
the RED part of the cupcake. That is why I chose to make these- because I knew
that I could share it with my grandsons without impunity. So there I was, boiling up
the beets (with Meredith moaning in the background- apparently she HATES beets! Who knew?)
I had just taken them from the oven when the oven guys showed up to measure the wall
for the double ovens Meredith wants on that wall- so I kept apologizing to Ed and Eddie ( who
could seriously be a comedy show all on their own!
“Measure to this point” –Ed
“Now, we cain’t take it out to there.” –Eddie”
“Well, I know we cain’t take it to there, but I want to measure it to there.”-Ed
“That’s fine- but we have to keep it to the right size.” –Eddie
“I’ll keep it to the right size- measure to this point, here.”-Ed
“We cain’t take it out to there. It won’t fit- we need to keep 1/4 inch all around.”-Eddie
“ Well I know that. We will- measure it out to here.”-Ed
“ We cain’t-…”
It went on and on for a good 20 minutes this measuring and bickering. They were like Mutt and
Jeff in appearance. We just sat there – entranced with the show- until Ed’s phone started
ringing. Suddenly, EVERYONE wanted to talk to Ed. And Eddie wasn’t having any of that
either. “Just hang up the phone and let’s get measuring!”
“Well, I will. Let’s measure out to this point, here.”-Ed
Any way- back to the cupcakes.
The recipe called for 1 1/2 lbs cooked beets- pureed.
You mix brown sugar,eggs,Greek yogurt and melted butter
and flour, baking soda and powder,cocoa powder and salt.
And you have batter for lots of cupcakes-
1 1/2 pounds beets (4 to 5 medium)—trimmed, peeled and sliced
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 1/3 cups flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 sticks (1 pound) butter, 2 sticks melted and 2 sticks softened
3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped and melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, bring the beets and 2 1/4 cups water to a simmer over medium heat; cover and cook until fork-tender, about 35 minutes. Transfer the beets with a slotted spoon to a food processor, reserving the cooking water. Puree the beets. Add the reserved cooking water as necessary to get 2 1/4 cups beet puree; transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar and let cool.
Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Line a dozen 1-cup muffin cups with jumbo baking liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Whisk the eggs into the beet puree. Whisk in the melted butter and yogurt until smooth. Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring with the whisk until smooth. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cups. Bake until springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool for at least 30 minutes.
Make the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and the cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar and pinch salt at low speed. Beat in the white chocolate and vanilla at medium speed until fluffy.
Using a pastry bag pipe the frosting generously onto the cupcakes.Sprinkle with red sugar.
This was a lot of work- and kind of expensive- but the cupcakes were very good. And they are kind of good for you. And they keep wonderfully in the freezer.
And the Ed/Eddie show was such a bonus that I wouldn’t want to miss any of the experience.