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.

Behind the camera again and a taste of the tropics.

Don’t you just love a long weekend? It gives you time to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily have time for during the week. I decided to use the extra time to get behind my camera again. My subject was this delightful baked pudding, Lime and Coconut Delicious, created by Bill Granger.

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I came across this pudding via Samantha Linsell’s twitter page and drooled at her recreation of it on her blog Drizzle and Drip. Take a look at her blog, her images are absolutely gorgeous! Inspired, I decided to bake and photograph the pudding myself.

It was really simple to make, but a lot harder to photograph. I am used to taking photo’s of cupcakes that have a solid shape and look pretty from every angle. I didn’t realise how tricky it would be to shoot a baked pudding. Anyway, I tried my best. What do you think?

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What’s most important is that it was yummy to eat! A light, fluffy lime and coconut baked pudding with an almost custard-like base – who could say no to that? If you would like to try this pudding out, follow the recipe here, on Samantha’s blog. Don’t forget the cream!

 

Till’ next time.

It’s Friday. Have a cupcake!

Happy Friday everyone! How are you planning to spend it?

I decided to celebrate the approaching weekend in the most appropriate way…


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Thanks to Carly at Happy Little Kiwi, I was able to create these naughty little cupcakes and share it with friends and family just in time for the weekend. Try the recipe here.

The only addition I made was to add Milo (dissolved in boiling water) to the icing mixture. Being in South Africa, I used Bar One as the topping, instead of the Mars Bar originally used by Carly.

 

Give these a go, you won’t be sorry.

No better way to celebrate the weekend ahead I say!

Don’t try this at home

Sometimes, when you think you’re being extremely smart, you’re actually being extremely stupid. This was me last week Sunday. I had a plan… oh what a clever plan. I was going to make five different pancake recipes in a day, shoot them and voilà – I would have posts for the next month. I was quite chuffed by my genius.

So, off I trotted to the shops, bought the ingredients I needed and came home full of energy, ready to conquer the humble pancake! I decided to try three separate recipes.

* An old school crêpe recipe that included melted butter in the batter

* A Donna Hay crêpe recipe that asked for cream and sugar in the batter

* A Nigella Lawson American-style pancake

I preferred the Donna Hay crêpe recipe, it wasn’t too oily – and I eventually got the hang of making them.

The Nigella pancakes didn’t turn out as well as I expected them to. Instead of being light and fluffy, they ended up a bit dense. I have made them before, and I remember them being absolutely delicious. Try them with this recipe if you like – I would just add a pinch of salt to the batter.

Why make so many different pancakes you say? Madness I know. This was my thought process behind it all.

Take crêpes – create a toffee soufflé version (recipe taken from Donna Hay) and two savoury versions (a savoury mince and butternut/ricotta filled  crêpe).

Take American pancakes – create a chocolate chip/nutella/honeycomb version and a tropical (coconut/lemon/granadilla) version.

So, while making the pancakes, I made the fillings/toppings at the same time. I cooked from 11.30am till 8pm non-stop!!! I did not sit down once. Let me tell you, by Monday morning my feet and shoulders ached so much it felt like I had done a Sweat 1000 class. (So ladies, if you hate the gym, flip pancakes for 7 hours).

I managed to squeeze a few photographs in before the sun completely disappeared. I’m afraid they are not my best attempt… but at least I have something to show for it.

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This was my attempt at chocolate chip pancakes with a nutella, honeycomb and mascarpone topping.

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Another creation – tropical pancakes. I added lemon zest and coconut to the batter. I topped them off with a granadilla curd and mascarpone topping.

It wasn’t a complete disaster. I learnt how to make a granadilla curd, crêpes and an awsome savoury crêpe bake. When I’m completely recovered, I’ll post the recipe for the granadilla curd and savoury crêpe bake.

Sometimes you need to do something stupid like this to learn a lesson. I learnt that it pays to make one recipe at a time and give it the love and attention it deserves.

Till next time…

The little man’s 1st birthday party

I am so blessed to have another cousin in my life!

Dear little Cole has won the hearts of every family member due to his sweet nature, gorgeous little face and just for looking so darn cute!

I recently attended his 1st birthday – what a bash!

The theme was red and blue stripes and dots. I decided to make iced biscuits in the shape of a “1” for every guest to take home. This was my first attempt at making royal icing…quite an interesting (read tiring) experiment.

I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to be creative though – and I finally put one of my ideas into action.

I hope everyone enjoyed eating them as much as I enjoyed making them.

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 Meet Cole…

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Presentation is very important.

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Other treats at the party – baked by my talented cousin, Bronwen.

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I used individual letter stamps to create the personalised bags for each biscuit.