So you already know I am on a quest to create a delicious "healthier" cupcake.
I make most of my meals from scratch but there always comes a time when you need to pull out a delicious dessert to WOW the crowd! I can't get myself to use white sugar, processed flour, trans fat, fake food coloring & flavorings that are found in most desserts.
The American Cancer Society challenged the Culinary Institute of American to create a better birthday cake! I sent a message to the chef student to see if she had any tips for me to modify the recipe into a cupcake. (I'm going to tweak anyway, but just thought I'd ask).
**Here is the winner's recipe. If you want to wait to make the cupcakes, I will modify this recipe to cut out all white sugar & all purpose flour. I think I can use coconut flour. Stay tuned! :)
If you can't wait... enjoy!
Here's the winner's recipe:
New Red Velvet Cake
By Alexandra Mudry
(Recipe will make 1-9x14” cake, two 8” round cakes or 24 cupcakes)
3 Large or 5 Small Beets (to make 2 c. puree)*
½ c. Applesauce, Unsweetened/Natural
1 c. Granulated sugar
½ c. Canola oil
2 Lg Eggs
2 Lg Egg Whites
3 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
1 tsp. Instant Espresso Powder or Instant Coffee
½ c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¾ c. All-purpose Flour
¾ c. Whole Wheat Flour
¼ c. Quinoa Flour**
1 ½ tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp. Salt
1 c. Dried Cherries
*You may use canned beets, but make sure they are stored in their own juices and not seasoned. If using canned beets, add a tablespoon (or more) of water and puree until smooth.
**Quinoa flour is found in most health food stores. If you are unable to find it you may use 1c. All Purpose flour to ¾ c. Whole Wheat Flour.
For the roasted beets: Preheat oven to 375. Trim ends of beets and place on a parchment paper or foil lined baking pan. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. canola oil. Roast until fork tender (about 2 hours). Once cooled peel then place in blender or food processor with 1-2 tbsp. water. Puree beets until they reach a smooth and even consistency. Set aside. (Can be made several days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)
Preheat oven to 375. Spray baking pan(s) with canola oil spray and dust with flour. Discard the excess flour (or if making cupcakes, line tins with paper wrappers).
Combine oil, eggs, egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed with a paddle attachment until smooth and light colored.
Add the tsp. of espresso powder to the melted chocolate and stir until combined.
Turning the speed down to low, slowly drizzle the melted chocolate into the mixture. Once the chocolate has been added, turn off the machine and scrape the sides of the bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa powder, applesauce and beet puree. Add this mixture to the egg mixture. Place the machine on medium speed to incorporate, scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the cherries and mix again. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
Sift the remaining dry ingredients together and then gently fold into the mixture (do not over mix or the cake will become tough and dense).
Pour batter into pan(s) and bake for 40-45 minutes (or 20-25 for cupcakes), until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool and remove from pan(s). If not using immediately, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate. Cake can be made a day in advance. (The cake is rather delicate and crumbly so it is significantly easier to work with once chilled. )
Chocolate Raspberry Ganache
2 oz. heavy cream
1.5 oz. Raspberry Puree
4 oz. Good Quality Bittersweet Chocolate, broken into small pieces
(If you cannot find raspberry puree, you may make your own by pureeing fresh or frozen raspberries and then pressing through a sieve to remove seeds. Also, other berry mixtures can be used – but especially look for dark berry mixtures such as raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, which are high in antioxidants).
Boil cream in a small pot.
At the same time, warm raspberry puree in microwave (the puree should not be hot –just warm).
Once cream has boiled, add raspberry puree and stir to combine.
Pour over chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is homogenous. If the chocolate does not melt all the way, place over a double boiler and finish melting.
Set ganache aside and allow to cool so it becomes slightly thick. This will allow for easier spreading.
Cream Cheese Frosting
24 oz. (3 pkgs) Reduced Fat Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 ¼ c. Confectioners’ Sugar, sifted
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Lightly beat cream cheese and vanilla extract until smooth, about 1 -2 minutes.
Stop machine, scrape down sides of bowl then add confectioners’ sugar. Cream together until smooth. Do not overmix or the frosting will become too soft and difficult to spread.
If using 9” x 14” pan, pour ganache over top of cake and spread evenly. (It does not have to be perfect). Cut the cake lengthwise down the middle, and then invert so both layers of ganache are sandwiched together. (If using an 8” pan, pour ganache on one layer and top with other cake.)
Once cake is stacked, smooth sides and fill in any gaps between the layers with ganache. Place cake in refrigerator and chill until ganache is firm.
Once the cake and ganache are firm, remove from refrigerator. Frost with cream cheese frosting or any other desired frosting.
Finished cake serves 10-12 generously.