These chocolate-loaded muffins are soft and tender and secretly good for you as they’re refined-sugar-free and contain two whole beetroots! Beetroots keep the muffins moist and you can’t taste them at all. The icing is refined-sugar free and beetroot powder is added to make this rich pink colour that’s totally natural. If you can’t get hold of beetroot powder, they’re just as delicious without the icing, but I couldn’t resist making this vibrant pink cashew topping.
INGREDIENTS – Makes 10
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
240g (8½oz) cooked beetroot (about 2 medium beetroots)
60ml (2fl oz/¼ cup) vegetable oil, plus 1 tbsp for greasing
100g (3½oz/generous ¾ cup) coconut sugar
60ml (2fl oz/¼ cup) oat milk
70g (2½oz) agave or maple syrup
200g (7oz/12⁄3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
40g (1½oz) cocoa or cacao powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
80g (2¾oz) dark chocolate chips
150g (5½oz) cashews
6 tbsp agave or maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp beetroot powder
12-hole muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas 4) and grease the muffin tin with a little oil.
Combine the ground flaxseed with 6 tablespoons water in a small bowl to form a gel and set aside to thicken.
Blend the beetroot to a purée in a food processor or blender. Add the flax ‘egg’, coconut oil, coconut sugar, oat milk and agave syrup and process until smooth.
Pour into a mixing bowl and sift in the plain flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Mix briefly to combine, taking care not to overmix. Fold through the chocolate chips, reserving a few for topping the muffins later. The mixture should be very thick.
Add heaped spoonfuls of batter into the greased muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the tin.
Prepare the icing by soaking the cashews in a bowl of just-boiled water for at least 20 minutes. Drain, then add to a food processor or blender with the agave, coconut oil and vanilla. Blend for 7–10 minutes, until really smooth and creamy. Add the beetroot powder a little at a time until the desired colour is achieved.
Spread the icing on top of the cooled muffins and decorate with a few chocolate chips. Keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Eat the Rainbow by Harriet Porterfield, £20 Leaping Hare Press.