You want something decadently fudgey, but still light and airy – and gluten-free? Try this recipe, which always works for me.
Beetroot doesn’t add a specific taste, but it makes the mixture very moist (and healthy!).
Makes: 24 muffins, or 2 loaf cakes – but it’s easily halved (cooked beetroot is usually sold in 250g packages) if you need less
- 500g cooked beetroot (make sure it’s vinegar-free if using a bought packet)
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 170g unsalted butter, softened
- 300g golden granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs (they should total 375g – 410g when weighed in their shells)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 400g gluten-free flour
- 3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 50g ground almonds
- 80g cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting pans if making loaves)
- 100g baking chocolate (dark or milk), chopped into small pieces
- Butter to grease tins if making loaves
- Two 12-hole muffin tins (or, two 2lb loaf tins – see footnote)
- 24 muffin cases
- Food processor, or stick blender
- Electric mixer (hand-held or stand) if not creaming butter/sugar by hand
- 3 large mixing bowls
- Cooling rack
- Preheat oven to 180 C (165 C fan-assisted). Line muffin tins with paper cases.
- Drain the excess liquid from the beetroot, chop into smaller pieces, and puree in a food processor, or in a bowl with a stick blender, with the lemon juice.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a separate bowl; add eggs one at a time, with the vanilla extract (if using), and beat until creamy and smooth. Pour in the beetroot puree and mix well to combine.
- In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb, ground almonds, and cocoa powder together with a fork. Add the chopped chocolate pieces and mix well to ensure all pieces are coated. (Coated chocolate pieces will not sink to the bottom during baking.)
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Remember, this is gluten-free, so you don’t have to worry about over-mixing the dry with the wet. In fact, incorporate as much air as you can.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, filling only to 3/4 full to allow for a good rise. The mixture should ‘dollop’ i.e. hold its shape as it’s dropped.
- Bake for 18 minutes or so, turning trays halfway through for even baking, until a skewer inserted into the centre of a couple of muffins comes out clean. Remove from the oven, remove muffins from the trays and place them on a cooling rack.
You can top these if you like with any icing, frosting, or ganache of your choice, or dust with icing sugar – just make sure they are completely cool first. You can also scatter the tops with mini white chocolate chips; if you do this, the muffins should be warm [not hot] so the chips stick.
You can add 1 tablespoon coffee or espresso granules, 1 tablespoon almond or orange extract, or the grated zest of 1 large orange for interesting flavour alternatives.
You can make two 9″ x 5″ loaves from this recipe – grease two loaf tins and dust with cocoa powder, and increase baking time to 35 – 40 minutes. (Remember with GF loaves to let them cool in the loaf tins before turning them out.)