I realise beetroot’s appearing rather a lot on this blog at the moment. I think I might actually be addicted to the stuff. Which is handy, as we have rather a lot in the veg patch and they keep turning up in the weekly veg box too.
Beetroot and chocolate muffins are a bit of a favourite here and for some reason I was seized by the idea of throwing in some chopped prunes when I baked a batch last week. I know it sounds a bit odd, but it’s good to experiment.
My children had some friends over after school and I thought it would be interesting to see if any of them could work out what was in them. To be honest, I didn’t really expect them to like them or even be persuaded to taste them. But do you know, they were devoured in seconds followed by demands for more, even though my youngest threw in a spoiler and told everyone they were made from beetroot. She’d recognise that pink colour anywhere. They never did guess the prunes though…
These are a lovely light muffin, with that slightly sweet earthiness you get from beetroot and a gorgeously gooey stickiness from the prunes and chocolate. A perfect after school treat, and you could probably get away with them at breakfast time too.
Chocolate, beetroot and prune muffins
2 medium beetroot, scrubbed and trimmed
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
130g caster sugar
pinch of salt
100ml milk, plus a little more for the beetroot puree
100g dark chocolate chips
50g prunes, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6.
Cut the beetroot into quarters and place in a roasting tin with a little water. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until tender. Leave to cool, then rub off the skins wearing rubber gloves to prevent your fingers staining.
Puree the beetroot in a food processor with a splash of milk until smooth.
Melt the butter and leave to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, caster sugar and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter, milk, egg and beetroot puree, and then gently mix this into the dry ingredients. Go steady here; you don’t want to over-mix.
Carefully fold in the chocolate chips and chopped prunes.
Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in a 12-bun muffin tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.
Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool properly.
I’m entering these muffins into the Rix Aga Inspired Recipes competition where the theme this month is beetroot. Why not enter your own beetroot recipe at www.rix.co.uk/aga-cooker-recipes/?