For a very, very long time, I’ve wanted a tattoo that payed homage to my family – in particular, my Father who passed away two years ago this June. The beginning of this year, one of my resolutions was to buck up, and make an appointment by the end of January. Well, the end of January came and went, yet I was still determined to make it happen.
I prepared. I got my rough sketch done. I collected sample images. I solidified my idea. I already knew who I wanted to be my artist. His name is Jeff Ward, the artist who did my “bird on a branch” tattoo for the High Voltage Tattoo – Hope for Japan Benefit last year. Then, one miraculous day in March, I walked my fanny into High Voltage Tattoo, and made an appointment with him.
This past weekend, the day FINALLY came, and we got started on the piece to commemorate my family, and where I grew up! It’s a landscape of the Mojave Desert, a scene you’d likely see on the I-15 from Southern California to Las Vegas.
This highway is a road that has been traveled by my husband and I too many times to count. I’m always in awe of its subtle beauty from afar, and its unmistakeable beauty when you’re up close and personal.
Since I’m a food blogger, I felt it was only natural to bring a special little treat for the crew at High Voltage Tattoo. I mean, who doesn’t like cupcakes?! Since I was going to be amongst artists, I wanted to think a little out of the box, and go with some unconventional flavors.
I was initially thinking red velvet cupcakes, though instead of using red food coloring, I wanted to use the natural color of beets! We love beet pancakes around here, so that was a no-brainer. I happened upon some Chevre (young goat cheese) with honey while out shopping, and since I can’t go without Chevre in my roasted beet salad, I thought the flavor combo would work well together.
If you haven’t had Chevre yet, please PLEASE do yourself a favor and pick yourself up a log of it even if you’re not planning on making these cupcakes. Man, it is FANTASTIC! You can have it with eggs, in salad, on top of steak, as part of a cream sauce…. Oh man, it’s got to be my cheese of the month. You won’t regret it, I promise! Alright, enough babble… Here’s the recipe!
What’s the most off-the-wall cupcake flavor you’ve had? Did you hate or love it?
- 2 Cups Cake Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Cup Cocoa Powder
- ¾ Cups Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1¼ Cups Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 Cups Beets, roasted & pureed
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
- ½ Cup Honeyed Goat Cheese (Chevre)
- 3½ Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
- 8 Drops Yellow Food Coloring
- Black Food Coloring as needed (optional)
- Edible Gold Glitter (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F, and line two cupcake pans with red foil liners (24 total). Sift cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder in a bowl, and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together very well, until the mixture is pale yellow, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg, and incorporate well, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Divide the flour mixture into thirds, and halve the beets*. To the butter and sugar mixture, alternate adding the flour mixture, and beets, incorporating well after each addition. Fill the cupcake liners ¾ of the way up with the batter, and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest for five minutes before removing cupcakes to a wire rack. Let cool completely before icing.
- Cream the butter and cheese together until well incorporated, and add in the powdered sugar. Mix gently to begin with, then increase the speed, mixing until the butter and sugar stick together. Add in lemon zest, food coloring, and a teaspoon of lemon juice, and mix well. Add in more lemon juice gradually until you get your desired icing consistency.
- To get the black striped effect, place 4 drops of black food coloring inside the piping bag about mid-way down, letting it run down the sides of the bag towards the tip. Add in the icing, and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Top with edible gold dust, and enjoy!