Carrot cake cupcakes

Hello dear readers. How is your Sunday treating you? I am so excited! I received my first baking order this week for a carrot cake. Yay! Let’s hope this is the first of many. I decided to try a Jamie Oliver carrot cake recipe, and boy is it yummy. The cake is moist, soft, light and subtly spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. The topping is a zesty mascarpone, cream cheese and lime icing. I made cupcakes instead of a big cake, but next week I’ll be making a big carrot cake for my order.

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This cake is really quick and easy to make. If you are a fan of carrot cake, then try this one.

Jamie Oliver’s Carrot Cake with Lime Mascarpone Icing

Makes 24 cupcakes

For the cake

  • 250 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250 g light brown soft sugar
  • 5 large free-range eggs
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 170 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 slightly heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 100 g shelled walnuts, chopped, plus a handful for serving
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 250 g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • sea salt

For the lime mascarpone icing

  • 100 g mascarpone cheese
  • 200 g full-fat cream cheese
  • 85 g icing sugar, sifted
  • zest and juice of 2 limes

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line two cupcake trays with cupcake paper cups. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one by one, and add the orange zest and juice. Stir in the sifted flour and baking powder, and add the ground almonds, walnuts, spices and grated carrot and mix together well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then gently fold them into the cake mix. Scoop ice cream scoop sizes of batter into each paper cup and cook in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until golden and risen. You can check to see if the cake is cooked by poking a cocktail stick into it. If it comes out clean the cake is cooked. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a rack and rest for at least an hour.

Mix all the icing ingredients together and spread generously over the top of the cake. Finish off with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. (In my case, I caramelised some slivered almonds and crumbled that on top for a bit of crunch.)

 

It’s as simple as that. If you try it out, let me know what you think of it. I’m still on the fence about the icing. I like it, but I’m wondering if my cream cheese icing that I normally make would possibly go better with this? I’d definitely still add some lime zest though! I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday dear readers.

‘Til then.

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Get inspired today: beautiful blogs

Hello everyone! Here’s a quick question for you on a Thursday morning. Where do you get inspiration from? Magazines, books, nature? My biggest source of inspiration has to be blogs. Oh my word, when I discovered blogs a few years ago, my life changed. Before the blog discovery, I used to tear inspiring images from magazines and paste into scrapbooks – these books were my inspiration source. I still have them and occasionally paste in them.

I’m a very visual person. Give me a beautiful picture to drool over and I’m happy. When you couple beautiful images with inspiring words – I’m sold! Blogs transport you to another world, a world where everything is pretty. Their words inspire you to action, to dream, to take risks. Ever since I started reading blogs, I’ve been wanting to start my own. I hope to one day grow my blog into an inspiring,pretty place – just like the ones I love.

I’ve been wanting to create a series highlighting the most inspiring blogs out there. Sharing is caring they say, and I’d like to share some of my favourite blogs with you. My aim is to share a blog once a week, it’s important to get inspiration as often as possible.

I’m kicking the series off with the blog that started it all. Whenever I browse for inspiration, this is my first stop! You may know her already, or own one of her books. Holly Becker, creator of the blog decor8is my hero. She has inspired me from the first day that I stumbled across her blog. Holly launched decor8 in January 2006, after 10 years in the corporate world. Her goal was to live a more creative life, write about topics that she felt passionate about and encourage others to do the same.

Her dream paid off, with now over a million page views per month! Not only has she founded one of the greatest design blogs, but she has authored two best-selling books Decorate: 1,000 Inspirational Ideas For Every Room In Your Home and Decorate Workshop: Design and Style Your Space in 8 Creative Steps, and she has founded a series of online workshops called Blogging Your Way, aimed at the new blogger who is looking for guidance, tips and tricks. (I really want to take part in that course!)

I love Holly’s approach to her blog. It’s fresh, truthfully written and totally identifiable. Her projects are inspiring and simple enough for anyone to give it a go. Her images, oh her images, are stunning. Light, colourful and playful, they are truly inspiring. Here’s an example of her photography.

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Beautiful no? I also like the fact that she has weekly contributors that bring another dimension of creativity to her blog. You can honestly find it all on decor8 – great design tips, crafty projects, blogging advice, yummy recipes and general awesomeness.

Do yourself a favour and visit her blog, you won’t be disappointed. You can thank me later.

Til’ then.