Monday, April 20, 2009

Many Mini Carrot Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for a friend's baby shower, but Enrique actually frosted most of them because he is quicker than me. I based the recipe off this cake recipe, but I changed it quite a bit and they turned out really good. Here is the recipe I followed as best as I can provide it, as I made quite a few estimations along the way.
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut oil (or butter)
4 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
3 cups finely grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 fresh pineapple, peeled & cored & blended into a pulp
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
pineapple juice drained off blended pulp of one pineapple (roughly 1 cup)
sugar to taste (roughly 1 cup)
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
For cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Line mini cupcake pan with paper liners.
Using electric mixer, blend sugar and coconut oil (if needed, melt coconut oil over very low heat beforehand). Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg ending with the carrots, walnuts, and zest. Spoon batter into cupcake pan, filling cupcake liners about three quarters of the way. Bake 30 minutes or until they seem done. Cool a bit then remove cupcakes from pan. Frost when completely cool.
For frosting:
In a small saucepan, slowly heat pineapple juice over very low heat, stirring every once in awhile. Cook down quite a bit, until juice is darker and sweeter and reduced by about half (this will take a long time, I'd start this part of the recipe first). Add sugar and cook until dissolved, stirring frequently (This part gets a little funky because I say to add sugar to taste, but you can't very well taste it until it's with the cream cheese and butter. So just use your good judgement and if it doesn't turn out sweet enough you can always add an additional sweetener such as powdered sugar or maple syrup). Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, pineapple reduction, and vanilla until well blended. You can also add the juice of the lemon half you zested but I forgot to do this and the frosting was still very good. Use a pastry tip to apply the frosting to the cupcakes (or just spread a layer on with a spatula) and serve! Or refrigerate for later!

Umm, uh oh, I forgot to explain how I processed the pineapple...Ok, I cut it into chunks and blended it into a pulp in a food processor, then I transferred the pulp to a screen strainer (or sifter? It strains and sifts, I'm not sure what it's proper name is). I placed the strainer over a large bowl and left it there while I was working on the rest of the recipe, giving it a stir every once in awhile to help drain more juice. When I was ready for it, I added the pulp to the batter and used the drained juice to make the reduction. Canned pineapple would have been a much simpler way to go. Ok, I hope I didn't forget anything else, if anyone actually tries to make this sorry the recipe is so sketchy.

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