Last week in class we made beetroot and chocolate cakes, surprisingly the kids were very much accepting of the idea, many of the adults however, slightly less so (today I made a big one for a family event and it was tried under threat of death and they all reluctantly admitted it actually was quite nice!) It’s funny how we always talk about fussy eating kids and then are so reluctant or just plain trepidatious to try anything new ourselves! Anyway, in the kids trundled with happy little faces and then came the time to uncover the days ingredients, the little bowl of beetroot had some stumped, but there were a few who knew exactly what it was and not one of them turned up their nose at the idea, in fact we had a problem stopping some of them from eating it all straight away – oddly to a table of 2-4year olds the idea that beetroot gave you pink wee made it even more appealing!
We made our cakes pureeing up the beetroot with me trying my hardest to contain as much of it as possible within the container, and stuck them in the oven. For activity time this week we looked at foods that grow under the ground and then had a taste of beetroot, boiled and also pickled. Even those wary of the food couldn’t resist using it to paint their lips and make themselves look beautiful, the boys even had a sneaky try but opted more to paint their tongues and look like monsters! Without realising they’d had a little taste.. and it was quite nice, so they had a nibble… and then it was gone!
The cakes themselves are lovely, really moist and not too beetrooty in taste fabulous with custard!! When my four year got home from school he saw the debris and insisted we make some for him straight away, so we dirtied the freshly washed utensils and started all over again, he has been bemoaning the fact we don’t bake together as much ow he is at school so it was lovely to do something like this with him, cooking is quite a companionable activity where little snippets of the day leak out as you mindlessly chatter. Cakes made and in the oven… when he spots a melon, ‘let’s make melon cakes’ he chirps. I try to explain that melon doesn’t really go in cake but having just piled beetroot into a cake mix it didn’t really wash and who am I to quash a child’s thirst to experiment in the kitchen and so we set about making melon cakes! He decided that we should puree a large slice as we did with the beetroot, I believe the reasoning behind this was because he liked the machinery involved and nothing of a more technical nature. I must admit I was very dubious, the melon was obviously very slushy but we carried on regardless using the recipe below minus the chocolate and 20 minutes later out melon cakes were ready! They were slightly sticky, smelt, well… melony and tasted pretty darned good! They had a bit of a tropical feeling to them, almost like a cocktail of a cake, very sweet so would probably work without any sugar at all and the stickiness made them tasted almost caramelised – all in all an amazing success! Eat your heart out Heston!
Here is the recipe to make 6 beetroot and chocolate cupcakes