Flourless Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes with Beet Frosting (Dairy)

Flourless Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Beet Frosting
Flourless Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Beet Frosting. Credit: Amy Kritzer
    105 mins
Ratings

There's a short but sweet chapter (pun intended), on Passover desserts in Amy Kritzer's Sweet Noshings. While much of the book is a practical ode to flour -- think Snickerdoodle Bagels, babka, and rugelach -- the Passover section eschews common ingredient substitutes like matzo cake meal.  It's a refreshing tack and one one that makes the recipes useful well beyond Passover. Take these Flourless Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes, for example. They're naturally gluten-free (sans the matzah bark embellishment, that is), so the recipe has year-round utility. As for that bark, consider it a bonus -- it's perfect for when you want to make a Passover treat, but don't want to mess with baking, and makes a clever hack for using up matzah post-holiday.

Kritzer writes, "I hesitate to even call these cupcakes, because they are really more like individually portioned fudgy brownie pieces of heaven. I knew I wanted some sort of cupcake in this book since that is, in part, how my cooking journey got started. The swirled matzah bark adds a nice crunch to the rich cake and sweet, naturally pink frosting. Speaking of which, don’t be scared of the beets: They mostly add color and not too much flavor." 

Recipe reprinted with permission from  Sweet Noshings: New Twists on Traditional Jewish Desserts, by Amy Kritzer. (Rock Point Publishing, an imprint of Quarto Publishing  2016)

What You'll Need

  •  For frosting
  • 1 medium beet cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 sticks or 1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces (227 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups (450 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For matzah bark
  • 3 pieces (84 g) matzah
  • 1½ cups (182 g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup (85 g) white chocolate chips
  • Edible glitter (optional)
  • For cupcakes
  • 1 stick or ½ cup (112 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces (227 g) bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup (43 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 orange) 

How to Make It

1.    First, cook the beet. Place beet in a medium saucepan and cover with water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool, peel, and shred beet with a grater; remove as much moisture as you can with paper towels. You should have about ½ cup (115g). Set aside.

2.    Then, make matzah bark. Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Place matzah on a foil-lined cookie sheet with sides (jelly roll pan) or 9 x 12-inch (23 x 30 cm) cake pan and sprinkle semisweet chocolate chips evenly over matzah.

You can break matzah into pieces if the whole pieces don’t fit on your sheet.

3.    Bake for 3–4 minutes to melt chocolate. Meanwhile, melt white chocolate in a small glass bowl in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time until melted, stirring after each interval.

4.    Remove matzah from the oven, spread chocolate carefully with a knife to cover matzah, drizzle with white chocolate, and sprinkle with edible glitter, if using. If you’d like, you can also add other toppings at this point like coconut or slivered almonds.

5.    Cool (in the refrigerator to speed things up, if desired) and then break matzah into pieces. Set aside. You’ll have more than enough to use on the cupcakes. It makes a great snack!

6.    Lower oven temperature to 300ºF/150ºC. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan and 4 cups of another pan with liners and set aside. 

7.    To make cupcakes, in a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally.

8.    In a separate bowl, beat sugar and eggs together for 2–3 minutes until very pale yellow. Remove chocolate from heat and stir in cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture and mix to combine. Stir in orange zest.

9.    Pour batter evenly into cupcake liners (1½ heaping tablespoons each) and bake for 25 minutes, just until set. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack. The cupcakes will sink a little as they cool.

10. To finish frosting, beat butter and cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer with whisk attachment in a large bowl until light and creamy. Then add powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add shredded beets and vanilla and beat until combined. This frosting makes a lot, so you can really pile it on. 

11. Spread or pipe frosting (using a large-hole piping piece so the beet pieces can fit through) onto cooled cupcakes and top with a piece of matzah bark. Store leftovers in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to five days.

Tip
For the beet frosting, you can either purchase pre-cooked beets (I don’t recommend canned) or cook your beet prior to making cupcakes.