Posted in Baking Day, Recipes

Beetroot & Carrot Muffins

Beetroot & Carrot Muffins

Frosted muffin group
Naked Muffins from the side

What to do with leftover beetroot? Leftover beetroot you sneer with raised eyebrow, who actually buys raw beetroot? I rarely do but a week or so ago I decided to try out a vibrant red thai vegetarian curry – a recipe from The Happy Pear that I saw online- and its vibrancy was due to the use of a grated beetroot. So when buying the beetroot I bought 2. As you do. I only needed 1 but I put 2 in the basket – turns out I’m an impulsive beetroot buyer and when it’s in your basket you can’t really put it back on the shelf.
Naked muffins from overhead
Beetroot & creamcheese frosting
Frosted muffin centre front

I know I say this about everything I blog but these muffins are soooo good. Deliciously moist and if eaten unfrosted relatively healthy when compared to your average muffin.

frosted muffin centered

Note: When grating the beetroot wear rubber or plastic gloves – highly recommend using a food processor with a grater attachment when grating.

Makes approx. 15 muffins.

You will need:
300g beetroot (peeled weight)
100g carrot (peeled weight)
200g light brown sugar
2 eggs
200ml sunflower oil
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
100g shelled walnut halves
1 lemon
100g low fat soft cream cheese
200g icing sugar

Method:
Pre-heat a fan oven to 160C. Prepare a muffin tray with paper cases.
Use a food processor with grater attachment to grate the peeled raw beetroot and carrot and place into a large bowl – use a fork to evenly disperse the carrot through the beetroot.
NB – set aside a large pinch of grated beetroot for the frosting.
Mix the brown sugar, eggs and sunflower oil together. Add in the plain flour, baking powder and cinnamon and mix well to a thick batter, pour this in on top of the grated carrot and beetroot. Grate in the zest of the lemon and add in the roughly chopped walnut halves. (Reserve a couple of walnuts to finely chop for decorating.)
Mix well to evenly combine everything – it’s thick and difficult to mix but you’ll get there.
Drop large dollops of the muffin mixture into the cases and bake in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes.
While the muffins cook make the frosting. Use a mini-chopper or a knife to finely chop the pinch of grated beetroot – this is being used to naturally colour the frosting.
Mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar, finely chopped beetroot and enough lemon juice to make a nice thick frosting – refrigerate until using.
Once the muffins are cooked, remove to cool completely on a wire tray before decorating with the cream-cheese frosting and a scattering of chopped walnuts.
Enjoy!
‘Til next time, Sheila.

Posted in Dinner Party

How to cook Beetroot

The beetroot have been bulging through the soil lately with their leafy tops waving frantically ‘pick me’, ‘pick me’ and as there’s only so long that those red veined leaves will wave so frivolously for, their time has come.
Beetroots in the garden
As I began assembly for this year’s Beetroot Relish I deduced that I must have cheated and bought some in to supplement their masses last year as there was no way I had reaped the 1.3kg that the relish recipe required.  This year I had about half that so I just adjusted the recipe downwards and don’t have a plethora to dispense just yet but I do see myself buying some additional beetroot to make more relish as gifts for Christmas.
So ‘How do you cook beetroot?’
If you’ve dug it up from your own garden you will firstly need to top the beetroot to remove the leaves and most of the stalk (the leaves can be cooked like spinach leaves if you like – wilt them down and add butter, salt and pepper).  Remove most of the leaves and stalks by cutting with a scissors leaving about an inch of stalk remaining.
Beetroos topped
I wear rubber gloves when preparing beetroot.
Once topped then gently wash each beetroot under the cold tap being careful not to be too vigorous and damage the skin.  Place on kitchen towel to remove excess moisture.
Beetroots washedOnce washed they are ready to bake.  I prefer to bake/roast beetroot as I think it retains their flavour better and requires minimal monitoring.
Roast Beetroot:
Pre-heat the (fan) oven to 180C.
Place the prepared beetroot on a tray lined with baking paper.
Roast in the oven until the beets are tender enough to allow a knife pierce through, still bitey but yielding to the knife.  Roasting time will vary depending on size.  My small ones took around 50 minutes+ with the bigger needing 1 hr 10 minutes.
Once cooked remove the tray from the oven and leave the beets to cool for a bit until able to handle.
Wearing rubber gloves the skin may gently rub away or use a small paring knife to peel them.
Delicious served warm with some goats cheese and wilted leaves or you could allow them to cool and prepare a beetroot relish/chutney.

Beetroot on tray
Beetroot on tray before roasting

As mentioned previously I do like to make Beetroot Relish and think it makes a lovely Christmas gift combined with some great Irish cheese and crackers.
jar beetroot chutney
homemade beetroot chutney
Relishes and chutneys are a great way of making cheese a little bit more special and there are numerous variations on offer at farmers markets and on the shelves of the supermarkets.  Recently I came across the Lara range in Scally’s SuperValu in Clonakilty and I tried both their Plum Compote and Beetroot Chutney .  Tipperary brie by Cooleeney Farmhouse Cheese was on offer on the day so I picked up two wedges and it was delicously creamy and ripe.
tipperary brie cheese board
lara beetroot chutney

I do hope you get to try some delicious Irish Beetroot Chutney soon.
‘Til next time, Sheila.