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Orange and Beetroot Cupcakes with a Plum Surprise

Cupcakes | 21st September 2014 | By

 

It’s the last day of National Cupcake Week and I’m just getting in by the skin of my chinny chin chin. With the Great British Bake Off in full swing everyone seems to have gone baking mad. Home Bargains is one such and they have given me a helping hand with my cupcakes by sending a box full of baking goodies. Their brief was to create a Home Bargains showstopper.

The kit they sent included a tin of pink cupcake paraphernalia, so I decided to go totally pink for the occasion and why not? I had recently made a few jars of plum jam that was not only very tasty with a sharp tang to it, but was a rather beautiful shade of pink. I’ve been wanting to attempt cupcakes with a blob of surprise jam in the middle for a long time and it couldn’t wait any longer. After my blackberry and white chocolate melt experience, I was a little concerned that the jam would either sink or spurt out all over the place, so I went for a thicker batter than I would normally do, in the hope it would hold the jam. The mixing bowl provided was perfect for the job, large enough to mix easily whilst being light and sturdy at the same time. I decided to flavour the batter with orange and use beetroot to colour the cake. Before it was cooked, the batter was a lovely shade of pink, but on baking it sadly resumed a more normal hue.

I’d intended the icing to be a white chocolate one with a swirl of pink plum jam running through it and I was going to use the piping nozzles and bags included in the kit to apply it. However, time began to run out, so the cakes morphed along the way. I ended up omitting the jam and using beetroot juice instead; I then just applied the icing with a palette knife. A few of the pink sprinkles provided in the kit were then applied, to good effect I thought. Annoyingly, I couldn’t assemble the accompanying pink presentation box. I made several attempts then realised it was a two person job and CT wasn’t around. The cakes were presented on a plate instead. I was rather taken with the “eat me” flags that came as part of the kit and the colour alone makes these a Showstopper to remember. 

The cakes were destined for friends with whom we were dining that night and I was hoping the shocking pink wouldn’t offend them. As it happened they had made a pink summer pudding for dessert, so the cakes fitted in rather well. They received appreciative comments and thankfully the jam stayed in the middle – for most of them at least. Little Jack Horner could have stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum, if he’d so wished. CT is no fan of beetroot, so expressed his relief when he couldn’t detect the taste. It’s true, it was the colour of the beetroot rather than the flavour that emerged. 

NB: When I say beetroot juice, I mean the water left over from simmering beetroot in a pan. I only use a little water for this, so the juice is a good strong colour. I’d also like to point out it’s #OrganicSeptember and everything here bar the eggs, sugar and icing sugar is organic, including our home grown beetroot. Oh and here’s the plum jam made from some rather tart plums from my mother’s garden.

 

Thanks to Peppermint Soda for my Home Bargains Showstopper kit, I was not required to write a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

I am sending these off to Laura over at I’d Much Rather Bake Than … for her Biscuit Barrel challenge which is all about birthday celebrations this month. Happy Birthday Laura and congratulations on the Biscuit Barrel being one year old this month.

The theme for this month’s Love Cakes with Ness over at JibberJabberUK is Back to School – Something New. Well I can honestly say I’ve never put beetroot in icing before and nor have I tried to bake jam into the middle of cupcakes either.

 

Orange Cakes with Beetroot and White chocolate Icing and a Plum Jam Surprise
Yields 15
Orange flavoured sponge cakes with a note of cardamom, dyed pink with beetroot juice and a surprise blob of plum jam in the middle. Topped with a creamy white chocolate and a shocking pink beetroot icing.
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Ingredients
  1. 260g flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white)
  2. 2 scant tsp baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  4. 200g cardamom sugar (golden caster sugar)
  5. 3 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
  6. 120g + 110g unsalted butter
  7. 2 tsp orange zest – grated
  8. 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  9. 50 ml + 2 tbsp beetroot juice (I used water from boiled beetroots)
  10. 150g icing sugar
  11. 100g white chocolate (G&B)
  12. 15 tsp pink jam ( I used plum)
Instructions
  1. Cream the first lot of butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the orange zest.
  2. Beat in the eggs one by one, adding a little of the flour in between each one to prevent curdling.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and stir adding a little of the beetroot juice as you go along.
  4. Spoon half the batter into 15 cupcake cases, make a slight dent in the middle and add a tsp of jam to each. Top with the remaining batter.
  5. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes until the cakes are well risen and golden on top. Turn out onto a rack to cool.
  6. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water and allow to cool a little.
  7. Cream the icing sugar and 2nd lot of butter, then beat in the white chocolate.
  8. Beat in the 2 tbsp beetroot juice one by one until a smooth icing consistency is reached. If the mixture curdles and won’t come together, add a little more beetroot juice and continue to beat.
  9. Spread the icing over the cooled cakes and leave for an hour or so to set.
Notes
  1. The beetroot is more for colour than flavour.
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    21st September 2014

    Wow, what a pop of colour! You always make such great cakes with your veggies, jam in the middle is definitely the way to go, glad everyone enjoyed them.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      21st September 2014

      Thanks Janice. As you know I do enjoy coming up with new ways of using ingredients – especially when they work!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Laura Denman
    21st September 2014

    I love these! So perfect for a girly birthday party or a friendly get together and that colour is amazing =) Thanks for sharing them with the Biscuit Barrel.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd September 2014

      Thanks Laura – aren’t the boys meant to be reclaiming pink these days?

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd September 2014

      Thanks Hannah – sometimes shocking pink is just what is needed.

  3. Leave a Reply

    belleau kitchen
    21st September 2014

    Love that colour. Such a fab electro 80s pop colour. Also loving the idea of beetroot and orange. I can totally see how this would be gorgeous.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd September 2014

      Thanks CC, you are lucky to have a Home Bargains store in your vicinity.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd September 2014

      Thanks Angie. Loved the icing for the colour, but it did taste good too.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Kate Glutenfreealchemist
    21st September 2014

    Shocking pink? No kidding! My daughter would go wild for these! Love the jam in the middle and the flavour combination too! I meant to make some cupcakes this week, but sadly had to decorate instead…… Completely ran out of time…… darn!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd September 2014

      Well next time you cook some beetroot, you could make some for her – the icing at least. Yes time has a horrid habit of running away and I never seem to do half the things I have on my list. I take it the decorating was of the house kind rather than the cake kind?

  5. Leave a Reply

    Katie
    22nd September 2014

    Wow what a bright and vibrant shade of pink, love it! Beetroot juice is amazing at colouring things. They look so cheery

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd September 2014

      Thanks Katie. I was pleased at just how vibrant the beetroot made these, without making it taste beetrooty.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Kitty Kaos
    22nd September 2014

    I love beetroot never tried it in cake though that sounds really interesting. May need to give these a try xx

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd September 2014

      Ah Kitty, you must try a good dark chocolate beetroot cake – works so well.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    22nd September 2014

    WOW! What vibrant and colourful cakes Choclette and with beetroot too, one of my favourite veggies to use in baking!

  8. Leave a Reply

    GG
    22nd September 2014

    These cupcakes have such an amazing colour. Fabulous on the outside and a lovely jammy surprise in the centre. GG

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd September 2014

      Thanks GG – sometimes it’s time to sit up and be noticed πŸ˜‰

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd September 2014

      I often pair orange and cardamom, I think they compliment each other very nicely.

  9. Leave a Reply

    All That I'm Eating
    22nd September 2014

    I love that shocking pink beetroot icing! Lovely idea and how nice that they morphed as you went along, it’s always good when that happens!

  10. Leave a Reply

    Nayna Kanabar
    22nd September 2014

    I don’t know about anyone else but I love the pink icing, its very girlie and pretty. Have you tried injecting the jam in the cake after its baked with one of them pointy nozzles.I saw one in lakeland.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd September 2014

      Thanks Nayna. I know you’re meant to inject the jam afterwards for the best results, but it seems rather a faff and I was trying to see if I could get something to work which was a bit easier.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Phil in the Kitchen
    22nd September 2014

    I’ve never been offended by shocking pink. (Well, maybe once when I was given a lift in a shocking pink car). These sound not just delicious but also good fun. Cardamom and plum jam are two baking ingredients that I’d definitely always welcome. They’re not used enough in my opinion.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd September 2014

      Oh Phil, you’ve made me feel all nostalgic now for the days when people were able to be a bit whackier and could drive such wonders as shocking pink cars. You don’t really see any weird and wonderfuls on the roads these days.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd September 2014

      Thank you Gloria. It’s true, beetroot can work really well in cakes.

  12. Leave a Reply

    Alida
    23rd September 2014

    These cakes have an incredible colour. They really look lovely. Delicious with plums!

  13. Leave a Reply

    Jibber JabberUK
    29th September 2014

    I love a hidden surprise in a cupcake and the natural colouring from the beetroot is gorgeous! Thanks for linking up this month.

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