Monday, 18 September 2017

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This is another weding cake post, only this time a bit more stealthy. No process photos here, as I was also makeing quiche and a loaf of bread, so everything was rather busy!

The plan is to have a tower of cupcakes of various flavours, and one I'd like to do is carrot cake. Everyone likes it (well, nearly everyone), and it's a bit unusual to be served as a cupcake.

The base recipe was this one, which is a slight variety of a Delia Smith recipe. I did a couple of minor tweaks (reduced cooking temperature to 160'C, and cooking time to 20 minutes). I put ~75g of mixture into each case, and I think this was too much, as the cake rose too high...ideally I want the edge of the cake to sit just below the case rim, as this makes icing easier. Adding the syrup to the cakes when they came out was not great, as it tended to soak into the case. The end result was there was not quite enough citrus flavour to the cakes, so next time I will add extra zest to the cake mixture, and maybe soak the sultanas in orange juice (rather than risk making the mixture too wet).

So, changes for next time;
1) ~60g per cupcake case
2) Double amount of zest from 1 orange to 2 oranges
3) Briefly soak the sultanas in the juice of an orange

Which brings me to cream-cheese icing. I did a fair bit of research into this, as I wanted something pipeable. Whenever I've made it previously it's come out quite runny, and while nice and tasty, the texture was not right. Apparently the problem is a combination of many things;
1) Sugar in cream cheese breaks it down
2) Any liquid makes it runny
3) Overmixing the cream cheese breaks it down.

I found lots of potential fixes...only use Philapelphia full-fat (as it's thicker, and less watery). Use some butter to add thickness. A few people had the interesting, and quite sensible theory of beating butter and icing sugar together, then folding in the cream cheese, and it's this that I went with, and it worked really, really well!

Recipe was;
100g soft butter (room temperature)
200g icing sugar
300g full-fat cream cheese (Philadelphia)

1) Put the butter and icing sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment

2) Beat hard for several minutes, until very soft and light. You may need to scrape the sides down a couple of times. You are aiming for a mixture that is about the same consistency as the cream cheese. DO NOT ADD ANY LIQUID TO SOFTEN IT

3) Add the cream cheese to the bowl and fold/mix very slowly until evently combined. My stand mixer has a fold setting, and this worked perfectly.

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

I then sprinkled a little cinnamon powder over each cake to finish.