Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes

It sounds like an oxymoron, right? Healthy chocolate cupcakes. And get this- they don't taste healthy. The secret ingredient is: canned beets. I can't even stand the smell of beets, but you wouldn't even know they were there. We had friends over for dinner on Saturday and had these for dessert. I told them in advance that they were no ordinary cupcakes, and when I revealed the secret ingredient they were shocked. They fell out of their chairs and put both hands to the sides of their faces Home Alone-style.

K, everything I just said about the chairs and Macaulay Culkin didn't exactly happen, but these are some seriously good, virtuous cupcakes. Aside from being low-fat, read about why they are so good for you at Chatelaine Magazine. I made a few changes to the recipe, the biggest one being doubling the cocoa powder, so the nutritional stats from Chatelaine aren't going to be accurate if you follow the recipe below, but pretty close. Also, I didn't find that the raspberry-cream cheese icing in the original recipe tasted like much other than cream cheese, so I haven't included a recipe for icing below. Feel free to use whatever icing you'd like, and eat some raspberries on the side to get the health benefits listed in the article. Or puree them in a blender to make a raspberry sauce to go with the cupcakes. Last night I just mushed up some raspberries with a fork on my plate and put the cupcake on top.

Go ahead, make some chocolate cupcakes and trick your friends and family. Or if you don't want to share (understandable), eat three at a time- they're good for you, remember?

One Year Ago: Ricotta Gnocchi

Makes 12 

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 398-ml can sliced beets, drained and patted dry
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup safflower or canola oil
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers or spray with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt.

Puree beets in a blender or food processor until smooth. In another bowl beat sugar, oil, instant coffee until combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg, then beets and vanilla.

With beater on low speed, mix in 1/3 of flour mixture, then 1/2 of buttermilk. Repeat additions, ending with flour mixture. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake in center of oven about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in muffin tin 5 minutes, then to a rack until completely cooled.

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