Wednesday, April 4, 2012

{Beetroot & Chocolate Cupcakes}

Or maybe they are a muffin, I think a cupcake might have to have icing, oh the deep issues I tackle here in my little space on the internet.

This is my easter offering, I must admit I was attempting to smuggle some beetroot into the boys before the easter bunny comes but they only ate the section directly around the piece of chocolate so I can't say they were a total success but, they are nice and beetrooty. I would recommend you like beetroot if you are going to make these, yeah don't make them if you don't like beetroot.

Have a lovely long easter weekend x  

...the cupcakes (or muffins)
250g raw grated beetroot
175g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
60g softened butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
12 pieces of dark chocolate

Heat oven to 180.  Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake wrappers.

Peel and grate beetroot.  In a small bowl combine milk and eggs, whisk lightly, in another bowl combine flour, cocoa and baking powder.

Cream butter, oil and sugars till pale then add the milk mixture alternating with the flour mixture.  Once all combined stir thru the beetroot then divide among your 12 cupcake cases.  Push a piece of chocolate into the centre of each one and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until risen and bouncy.

Leave in the tin for ten minutes then cool and a rack.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

{Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter}

I recently saw on the telly that by 2050 they are going to be able to grow meat test tube style in labs for the supermarkets, that little piece of information makes my blood run cold and gets filed away in that folder in my brain with all the other things I wish i'd never heard.

It makes me more determined to live a life where we only shop at the farmers market, where I can look into the eye of and touch the hand of the farmer, giving him a once over ensuring he's not hiding behind a white coat with a pocket protector.

It also makes me want to discover more vegetarian recipes, this is a really lovely one, it's quite exotic for a soup, its thick and spicy and perfect for warming your tummy on an autumn evening. Autumn is hands down my favourite season.

...the soup
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
5 1/2 cups / 1.3L vegetable stock
300g green lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup / 125 ml coconut milk
sea salt

...the brown butter
3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp curry powder

Pop 2 tablespoons butter, onion, garlic, and chilli flakes in a large pot over medium heat, cook until the onions are softened. Add the vegetable stock and lentils and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender. This usually takes around half an hour.

In the meantime, warm the 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it brown. When it starts to smell nutty and fragrant, stir in the curry powder and stir for a minute until the spices are also fragrant.

When the lentils are finished cooking, remove from the heat, stir in the coconut milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and puree with an immersion blender, keep going until it is perfectly smooth.

Stir half of the spiced butter into the soup, serve drizzled with the remaining spice butter.