Betta Living in celebration of National Cupcake Week have challenged bloggers to come up with an innovative and interesting variation. So with the nights’ drawing in and the temperatures definitely on a downward trend culinary thoughts wander towards comfort foods and homely foods. In light of this I would like to offer my take on an Autumnal Cupcake.
Turn your oven on to 180C and let warm up
Prepare your cupcake trays and line them with paper forms.
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
- 2 large carrots; grated
- 3 large eggs
- 200ml sunflower oil
- 220g brown sugar
- 250g plain flour
- 1.5tsp baking powder
- 0.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 0.5tsp ground ginger
- 0.5tsp ground nutmeg
- A handful almonds; chopped
- Pinch of salt
Ingredients for the decorations:
- 200ml whipped cream
- 125g mascarpone cheese
- 1.5tblsp icing sugar
- 1 large carrot
- 250ml water
- 220g caster sugar
- Orange food colouring
Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the baking powder and the bicarbonate of soda.
Now add the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger) and the pinch of salt and mix well.
In a second bowl gentle whisk the eggs together mix in the oil; sugar, grated carrots and vanilla extract, you are wanting the ingredients to be just combined.
Now add your wet ingredients to your dry ones and throw in the chopped almonds and combine gently.
Spoon into your paper cupcake forms, you should have enough mixture for 18 cupcakes.
Place into your preheated oven for 20-25minutes or until golden brown and a wooden toothpick comes out clean when stuck into your cupcake.
Turn the oven down to 110C.
Allow the cupcakes to cool as we get ready to start creating the decorations.
Wash your carrot and peel it and dry with some kitchen roll. With a sharp knife you can turn half the carrot into julienne pieces and the other half into wafer thin leaves, or if you are like us who have good but not stunning knife skills then drag out your Oxo Chef’s Mandolin Slicer (other makes are available) and it’s done in seconds.
Add the sugar to the water in a heavy based saucepan and put on a low heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Add all the pre-cut carrot pieces to the pan and boil gently for 10-15 minutes.
Sieve the carrots to remove the excess water and place on a baking tray that is lined with baking paper, space them out so they each have lots of space. Place in the oven 20-25minutes.
Remove them from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool you want to roll the leaf shaped pieces around something like a skewer to help form the curl shape. The julienne pieces you want to tie together into knots. Once all the pieces are formed pop them back into the oven for another 20 minutes, we are wanting them to be very dry.
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form and then add then fold in the mascarpone cheese and the sugar. Split your cream if desired so that different colours can be added, we have created a nice orange cream to accentuate the cupcake base.
So we should now have 18 lovely baked cupcakes, a tray of carrot decorations and a bowl of topping.
Now all that is left to do is find your piping bag and let your imagination run riot.
Have fun and enjoy!