Thursday 28 September 2017

Carrot Cake Cupcakes - Second Attempt

I wanted to give these another go after the last batch, trying teh tweaks. I also wanted to have a shot at the decoration...after all, I want these to be quite obviously carrot-cake! I think I've achieved that.

I don't really like using food colourings, and I want to try actually candying a carrot, and using that as decoration, rather than fondant/sugarpaste. The carrots themselves could be a little smaller as well, or a least a little shorter. I only briefly soaked the sultanas in the orange juice, and I think that I should do it overnight in future (along with a drop of lemon juice to add a bit more citrus), to get extra moisure in...

Carrot Cake Cupcakes - Recipe

  • Pre-heat oven to 160'C

Sponge Ingredients

  • 175g dark soft brown sugar
  • 120ml sunflower oil
  • 200g wholemeal, self-raising flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4tsp mixed spice
  • ½tsp cinnamon
  • 6 cardamon pods, crushed, with shells removed
  • zest of 2 orange
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 175g sultanas
  • 200g grated carrot
1) Place the sultanas an orange juice in a bowl, mix well, and leave to one side

2) Place the oil, sugar, eggs and zest into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, and whisk for 4-5 minutes, until light and creamy

3) Sift the flour, bicarb, mixed spice and cinnamon together, and add the crushed cardamon seeds

4) Fold the flour mixture into the beaten oil and egg until just combined

5) Add the soaked sultanas and carrot, and again fold in.

6) Spoon 55-60g of the mixture into muffin cases in a muffin tin (I got 17 out of this mixture...don't add more mixture or they will ride too high in the cases, making decorating hard)

7) Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes

8) Remove to a wire rack to cool completely

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients

  • 100g room temperature butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 300g full-fat cream cheese (I use Philadelphia, as it has a lower water content)
  • Cinnamon powder (to decorate)
1) Put the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with a creaming paddle attachment

2) Beat until extremely soft/smooth. I did it for about 10 minutes. It's really important you don't skip this step, or shortcut it, if you want a pipeable consistency. You want the sugar fully combined and coated with the butter, and as soft as possible to minimise the folding required to get teh cream chese mixed in. Definitely don't add any liquid either...

3) Add the cream cheese and fold in until just smooth.

4) Transfer to a piping bag with a semi-closed star nozzle.

5) Pipe a generous circle of topping onto each cake, and a small blob in the middle

6) Sprinkle a little cinnamon poder on top of the icing for decoration

Carrot Decorations

  • 1 pack ready-to-roll Orange Icing
  • 1 pack ready-to-roll Green Icing (which you won't use all of)

1) Roll the orange icing out into a sausaage about 12 inches long

2) Chop into even segments about 1½cm wide

3) Using a smooth surface, round off one end (sort of carrot shaped, strangely enough), and then form a divot into the end using the handle of a wooden spoon

4) Chop the non-ended round to a flat surface

5) Take some of the green icing, and roll into a sausage about the width of a pencil

6) Chop these into sections 5-7mm in length

7) Carefully point one end with your fingers, and push into the divot in the orange segments

8) Place one assembled carrot decoration in the middle of each cupcake