I am so glad I spent a good chunk of my summer in the kitchen trying out as many recipes as I did. Whilst it might have meant there was always sure to be something to snack on at home (something my growing waistline was not entirely grateful for), its definitely going to help me keep up to date with the blog over the next few weeks! Over the last I’ve been fitting in flat viewings everywhere I can so I’ve not had the time to cook myself a meal in the place I’m staying let alone get down to some proper cooking of things I can share with you all on here.
In between visiting potential flats, trying to get my head around the million and one acronyms Tesco uses and generally settling back into London life, I managed to sneak in a visit to an amazing new kitchen in trendy Shoreditch this week (The Blues Kitchen) to have a wine-filled night out with a couple of girls from work.
Whilst we had a gossip we shared a Spinach, Artichoke and Parmesan dip that was quite frankly bloody gorgeous before moving onto good ol’ Mac & Cheese, Veggie Quesadillas and Crab Donuts (as gorgeous as they sound). The space in the bar was great and the amount of people there showed how popular the venue is. Whether it’s after work bar drinks, a sit down meal or a full blown night out you’re there for, there’s somewhere for you to fit in – and if you’re ever in the area looking for a dinner that’s well worth having a cheat day for then you’ve definitely got to pay this place a visit.
Right, waffling aside, it’s about time I got onto the task at hand right? Prior to making these muffins I’d never used beetroot in baking despite reading loads about how it’s such a fantastic ingredient. If I’m completely honest I can’t say it added anything taste-wise to the final product but these muffins were super-moist and chocolate-y (and because of the beetroot kind of healthy, maybe…) Well that was my excuse for polishing two off within half an hour anyway…
I’m really keen to use more vegetables when I’m baking; courgette cake and sweet potato brownies are two sweet treats I’ve got my eye on, here’s hoping I find myself a flat with a kitchen nice enough to get working on them sharpish!
Ingredients (Makes 12 Muffins)
50g Cocoa Powder
175g Self Raising Flour
150g Caster Sugar
50g Soft Light Brown Sugar
250g Ready to Eat or Cooked Beetroot, drained and halved
3 Medium Eggs
200ml Sunflower Oil
100g Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), finely chopped
– Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F and line a 12 holed muffin tray with paper muffin cases (cupcake cases can also be used but fairy cake cases will be too small).
Sift the dry ingredients (cocoa, flour, baking powder and sugars) into a large mixing bowl and put to one side.
Add the beetroot to a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds. Then leave the machine running and add the eggs one at a time before pouring in the oil and continuing to blend the mixture until you have a smooth liquid.
Pour this wet mixture into the dry ingredients and add the chopped chocolate. Mix all the ingredients together until you have a smooth mixture with no hidden pockets of flour.
Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into the muffins cases and place in the centre of the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes (checking after 20 minutes so they don’t catch and burn) until they are firm when pressed and a skewer inserted into the muffins comes out clean.
Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 3 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool for another 5 minutes. Serve slightly warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or alternatively, leave to cool completely and transfer to an airtight container, where they will keep for 3-5 days.