Or some of it anyway. Apparently it’s only a tenth of the carrots still waiting to be pulled up (according to my husband). The beets were pretty pathetic because I didn’t water them, so the post I was supposed to do this summer entitled, “What the heck to do with a beet!” had to be postponed until next summer.
I mean, who likes beets anyway? Apart from Dwight Schrute. So I needed to find a tasty way to use them, and came up with the idea of carrot-beet cupcakes! All by myself! Of course I looked online and it had already been thought of – nothing new under the sun, right? But mine uses more of the spice proportions from the Joy of Cooking recipe for carrot cake, and it has a completely different frosting.
The first thing you need to do is to take about ¾ cup pecans and put them on a baking sheet. Turn the oven on high to 225°C or (450°F) and toast them for about 10 minutes until they’re hot, brown and smell good. Do toast them. It’s so good that way.
When you’re done, turn the oven down to 175°C (or 350°F) so that it can cool down in preparation for the cupcake baking temperature.
And then get ready to grate them. I couldn’t see where I had cut my knuckle until I washed off all the beet juice. (I would have used the cuisinart to grate them except that there’s this annoying little piece missing for the grater). You will need a cup of packed shredded carrots and the same for the beets.
Now, I know any proper baker will separate the wet and dry ingredients, but I never do that. I hate washing two bowls. So this is how I do it.
Blend all that together.
I used gluten free, of course. Since it’s a contained baked good (and can’t run off the side of the pan, for instance), it’s okay to use a simple gluten free mix that replaces flour in baking recipes. It’s also time to switch from the beater to a wooden spoon. You shouldn’t over-mix once you start adding the dry ingredients.
Add those, and you’re ready to go.
(Yes, I did wipe the batter that was spilled on the pan)
When the cupcakes are baking, it’s time to make the frosting.
I am so lucky that they sell cream cheese here now. I used to have to unwrap 53 tiny squares of Kiri cheese in order to make cheesecake.
To be honest, you can still almost taste the beets when the cupcakes are done, but with the toasted pecans and the zingy orange frosting, you have a cupcake that is harvesty, colorful, not so very bad for your health (right?) and super tasty. Beets and all.
Only one thing is missing. What’s missing. Hm …
- ¾ cup toasted pecans
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup oil
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup shredded raw carrots
- 1 cup shredded raw beets
- ¼ cup butter (about 50 grams)
- 4 oz cream cheese (110 grams)
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange flower aroma
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- Toast the pecans in an oven pre-heated to 225°C (425°F) for 10 minutes.
- Turn the oven down to 175°C (350°F).
- Peel and grate about 3 beets and 3 carrots to make 1 cup each, packed down (raw).
- Beat 3 eggs with the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
- Add the oil, then beat with the baking powder and soda, the salt and the vanilla extract.
- Add the sugar and beat in.
- Add the flour and stir gently with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the carrots and beets until it's thoroughly mixed.
- Add the hot water and mix before stirring in the chopped pecans.
- Prepare 18 muffin tins with liners (preferably) or simply grease the pans.
- Put two ice cream scoops worth of batter to fill the liners.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until a knife is inserted and comes out clean (no raw batter).
- Prepare the frosting by mixing the butter and cream cheese.
- Add the confectioner's sugar, the orange flower aroma and the orange zest.
- Mix thoroughly and put a generous dollop on top of each cooked cupcake.
- Eat the cupcake.
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