Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes with Goat Cheese-Thyme Frosting by Bonjour Ariana

Ingredients:

raw beets, peeled and juiced, 2

AP flour, 250 g.

baking powder, 2 tsp.

natural, non-Dutch-processed cocoa, 2 1/2 T.

unsalted butter, 150 g.

sugar, 300 g.

salt, 1 tsp.

vanilla extract, 1 tsp.

eggs, 2

white vinegar, 1 T.

buttermilk, 3/4 cup

cream cheese, 8 oz.

fresh goat cheese, 8 oz.

powdered sugar, 1 1/2 cups

vanilla extract, 1 tsp.

salt, 1 pinch

milk, to adjust consistency

fresh thyme leaves, removed from stem, to taste

Directions:

Juice two raw beets until you have 1/3 cup of fresh beet juice. Set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, and cocoa together to combine well and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and salt together until light and fluffy. It's much faster to begin with room temperature butter. Add the extract and the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the beet juice slowly until well-incorporated. Pour the vinegar into the buttermilk. Then, add the flour mixture and buttermilk in three portions each, beginning with flour and ending with buttermilk. Each time mix until just combined. Finish the last two additions by hand to avoid over-mixing. Scoop into a lined muffin tin and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

 

To frost:

In a mixer, paddle the cream cheese and goat cheese together, adding the powdered sugar in several additions. Add the vanilla extract and salt and paddle well. If your frosting is too thick, pour a bit of milk in and paddle to make it more workable. Mix your thyme leaves in. Fill a pastry bag and pipe the frosting on each cupcake, finishing with a sparse sprinkling of fresh thyme.

 

NB: makes 15 cupcakes