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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

For my last birthday a dear friend was kind enough to give me a fabulous cookbook, The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook by Jennifer Graham. What I particularly like about this cookbook is that it is Australian, and thus I have yet to encounter any unsourcable ingredients within the recipes. It also has a useful "tips, techniques & tools" section in the beginning and a stockists section in the back. Most importantly, every recipe has an accompanying picture, which I find a crucial component of any good cookbook! Well, I might be willing to overlook this requirement for those old classic cookbooks like the CWA one. Not so sure I want to see photos of potted head and spotted dick, anyway.

I've only had a chance to make a few recipes from this new book so far, although I somehow still have managed to get multiple pages stained and buckled from being wet. Err.. sign of a good busy cook, I guess. The first recipe I tried were the "Church Picnic Carrot Cupcakes", which I altered slightly to come up with the following recipe..

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
adapted from The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook

Makes 24; Keeps 2 days; Freezes 2 months

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 cups self raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
0.5 Tb ground cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup soft brown sugar
3 large eggs
2.5 cups firmly packed peeled grated carrot
1 cup chopped walnuts
0.5 cup sultanas
zest of an orange
zest of a lemon

Cupcake Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line 2 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake papers. Use those colourful ones.
2. Sift together the self-raising flour, bicarb of soda and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the vegetable oil, brown sugar and eggs using an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat for about 5 minutes until thick and creamy.
4. Add the grated carrot, chopped walnuts, sultanas and zests. Beat on low speed until combined.
5. Add the flour mixture and beat until thoroughly combined; do not overbeat as this will toughen the mixture.
6. Spoon mixture into cupcake papers, filling until about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes immediately from the trays and cool on a cake rack for at least 30 minutes before icing them

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
80g softened unsalted butter
250g softened cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract (use half this again if you have vanilla essence)
3 3/4 cups icing sugar

Frosting Method:
1. Cream the butter for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the cream cheese, vanilla and half the sifted icing sugar and beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Gradually add remaining sifted icing sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and of a spreadable consistency.
4. You can use it immediately, or keep it for 4 days.

Decoration Ingredients:
0.5 cup walnuts
1.5 Tb soft brown sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon

Decoration Method:
1. Roast the walnuts in the oven until lightly browned, then get the skins off them and crush them using a mortar and pestle.
2. Mix the walnut crumbs/chunks with the sifted sugar and cinnamon.
3. Ice the cupcakes quite generously and then dunk the tops of the cupcakes into the walnut mixture.


Tim May 1, 2009 at 8:17 PM  

result: they're good!

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge July 13, 2009 at 3:13 PM  

ohhhh these look so good! I especially like the frosting, never thought of doing that before. I'll have to give it a go myself!

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