Beet Crumb dusted Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Moist dark chocolate mini cupcakes coated in a honey infused chocolate ganache and sprinkled with brown butter suffused beet crumbs.  I thought these cupcakes would make for a great pre-Halloween post.  There is something delightfully spooky about topping a chocolate cup cake with beets.

My wonderful work colleagues gifted me with a couple of cookbooks for my birthday, including Momofuku Milk Bar.  I’ve been slowly been reading my way though it, and gaining all sorts of crazy baking ideas.  The recipe below was inspired by my reading of the crumb section of the book.  I’ve been making crumbs for years, but never felt the need to branch out from my boring flour, sugar, and butter crumb topping.  I’m not fully sold on the use of milk powder (it conjures up unpleasant childhood memories of reconstituted milk… yuck!), but I am intrigued by Milk Bar’s use of it in flavoring bake goods.  This will have to be explored in future bakes to see if I can overcome my aversion, but I was able to circumvent it’s use in the crumb recipe below by flavoring my crumbs with brown butter and powdered beets.  This recipe turned out to be surprisingly successful, although, I did slightly over bake my crumbs and loose some of that amazing purple beet color.

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Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe makes 48 mini’s.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Crème Fraîche (or Sour Cream)
  • 1 cup strong Coffee
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (~177 C).
  2. Line mini cupcake pans with cupcake papers.
  3. Beat together the sugar and canola oil.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Beat in the crème fraîche.
  6. Beat in the coffee.
  7. Beat in the salt.
  8. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder.
  9. Add the dry into the wet ingredients, and mix them until just fully combined.
  10. Scoop the batter into the mini cupcake tins.
  11. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Cool fully before decorating.

Brown Butter Beet Crumbs

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 3 tbsp Beet Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F (~163 C).
  2. Brown Butter – place your butter in a small sauce pan.  Melt the butter until the milk solids separate, and the butter develops a delightful hazel brown tinge.  This process can take awhile, just be patient, it will happen.
  3. Sift together the flour and beet powder.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients in the bottom of a mixing bowl.
  5. While mixing, slowly pour in the brown butter and vanilla until the ingredients begin to clump together.  You may not need to use all of the brown butter, just enough to bring it together.
  6. Scatter the crumbs out across a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 8 minutes.  If you have the option bake the crumbs with a low or no fan.  Ideally you want to bake the crumbs so that they hold together without browning them.
  8. Allow the crumbs to cool fully before use.

Honey Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Bittersweet Chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 2 tbsp Glucose Syrup (or 1 tbsp Corn Syrup)
  • 1/4 cup Honey

Directions:

  1. Melt together the chocolate, butter, and glucose syrup.  You can do this in a double boiler or microwave.
  2. Stir the ingredients until smooth.
  3. Stir in the honey until smooth.
  4. Frost your cupcakes while the ganache is still warm to keep the shine.

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