Beetroot savoury cupcake with creamed goats cheese and horseradish frosting

One of my favourite dishes roasted beetroot and goats cheese with horseradish cream dolled up into a cupcake.
One of my favourite dishes roasted beetroot and goats cheese with horseradish cream dolled up into a cupcake.

Ok so firstly let me apologise for the overly long descriptive name of this blog. Lex rightly pointed out ‘Beetroot Savoury Cupcake’ just wasn’t very enticing, so the full shebang ‘Beetroot savoury cupcake with creamed goats cheese and horseradish frosting’ it is.

The world of Instagram and Facebook with their picture perfect images of food, fashion and homes are a never-ending source of ‘I want’ for me. A few months ago I tried out the new social blog app ‘Pippit’ and whilst the app itself is too cumbersome to use regularly, I did come across this photo of three pretty little cupcakes by user lingyeungb. Chorizo, paprika, potato, smoked salmon – these were not the ingredients of just any cupcakes, but delish savoury cupcakes. I had never heard of savoury cupcakes before. Here they were dressed up to the nines as though they were as temptingly sweet on the palette as their sugary partners, but as if they were off for martinis instead of high tea. It’s had me dreaming about them ever since.

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The photo by Pippit user lingyeungb that inspired my quest to make savoury cupcakes.

Searching for the ultimate savoury cupcakes recipe, I came across a lot of chunky muffins and just stick-another-recipe-in-a-patty-liner recipes, but these didn’t satisfy my idea of what these perfect looking treats should be made of. I imagined them to have the delicate texture of my favourite Nigella vanilla fairy cakes but well, savoury. I hadn’t had one before, and I wanted it to be perfect. The general theme for savoury cupcakes seemed to be turning already successful dishes into a little cake. One of my favourite savoury dishes is roasted beetroot and goats cheese salad with horseradish cream, so I thought I’d start there. For this recipe I’ve modified a basic beetroot muffin with some basic cake baking tips I’ve picked up from Rosie Alyea’s Sweetapolita site, to create a Beetroot cupcake with creamed goats cheese and horseradish frosting. The resulting cake is subtle, sweetened only by the natural goodness of the roasted beetroot and the sharp and peppery-ness of the goats cheese and horseradish blends into a soft cheesy frosting. The cream does tend to soften quickly so I recommend keeping it in the fridge and decorate your cakes just before serving.

Beetroot - my favourite vegetable.
Beetroot – my favourite vegetable.

Ingredients
200g beetroot
2 baby beetroot
1tsp winter savoury
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 egg
50g butter
300mls + a little extra milk
270g cake flour
1tbsp baking powder
150ml cream
60g soft goats cheese
¼ – ½ tsp horseradish

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Peel the beetroot and chop into cubes and place in a bowl. Finely chop the winter savoury and add to the beets with a very small drizzle of olive oil and light seasoning of salt and pepper. Toss through. Line a tray with foil and add the beet mix then wrap it up tightly. Bake for 20-30 minutes. When cooked, place in food processor and puree. Set aside.

Roasted beetroot gems.
Roasted beetroot gems.
Give it a whizz until you have a smooth puree.
Give it a whizz until you have a smooth puree.

Thinly slice the baby beetroot and lay flat on another tray between two sheets of foil. Bake in oven on separate shelf below the beetroot mix. Bake until firm and most of the moisture is gone – roughly for about 10 minutes, checking after the first 5. Take out and set the beetroot discs aside to cool.

Beautiful patterns are created in the beetroot discs as they bake.
Beautiful patterns are created in the beetroot discs as they bake.

Lower the oven to 175 degrees celsius.

Beat the egg in the mixer for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the butter and mix until soft on medium. Slowly add the beetroot puree then the milk. Increase the speed for 2 minutes to mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Slowly add to the egg-puree mixture with the mixture on medium. Add the extra milk a tablespoon at a time until you have a smooth cake batter.

Divide into about 24 cupcake holders and smooth off the tops. Bake for 20-15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from liners or tray. If your cakes end up looking like volcanoes like mine always do, remove from the liners and trim the tops off ready for decorating.

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Fill your liners about 3/4 full.
If your cakes end up looking like mine ALWAYS do - remove them from the liners and trim ready to decorate.
If your cakes end up looking like mine ALWAYS do – remove them from the liners and trim ready to decorate.

Put the cream and goat’s cheese into a bowl and blend with a hand mixer until combined and it begins to thicken. Add the horseradish a little at a time until you reach your preferred peppery-ness.

Transfer frosting into a piping bag with a no.1 tip and do your best big fat swirl, topping the mound with one of your pretty little beetroot discs.

Who's ready for a martini?
Who’s ready for a martini?
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