Archive | March, 2012

Carrot muffins with cream cheese frosting

17 Mar

So it’s official. Winter’s over. It hit me today, while I was at the park, playing tag with little kids, sitting on a bench and taking in my surroundings. I was kind of hoping winter would make a comeback sometime this March- it always does. Where I live, winter never leaves us without a fight, one last memoir, a terrible snowstorm. But this year, nothing. It hardly snowed this time. And all I could think of this winter, was back to ten years ago, when it snowed so much that we couldn’t even open the front door of our house. When school had to be closed for days in a row. When people’s cars wouldn’t even budge out of their driveways. It feels like my favourite season doesn’t exist anymore.

Anyways, as much as I’d like to postpone it, spring is here. And you know what reminds me of spring? The flowery cupcake liners on the cupcakes I made a few weeks ago. Aren’t they cute? So what hapenned a couple of weeks ago was that my sister came up to me, disappointed because her fourth grade class had a baking session and she’d missed it because she’d been sick. She handed me the recipe of the carrot cake she was supposed to bake with her class. The recipe was from Joy of Baking (I’m obsessed with that website!). So my sister and I decided to make carrot cupcakes at home. Stephanie from Joy of Baking actually has a carrot cupcake recipe but I used her recipe for carrot cake because that’s the one my sister had a printed out copy of.

So, let’s get started! Here are the recipe and the directions I adapted from the Joy of Baking one. I left out the nuts, so if you want the original unmodified recipe, check out their website!

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake:

3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (2 1/2 cups grated)

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (240 ml) safflower, vegetable or canola oil (or other flavorless oil)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups (230 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sufted

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in center of oven.

Peel and finely grate the carrots.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). 

Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3 – 4 minutes). 

Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. 

Fold in the grated carrots. 

Scoop the batter into a lined cupcake pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean (you might want to poke a few cupcakes to make sure they’re all done baking). 

Remove the pan from the oven and let the cupcakes cool before you transfer them to a platter.

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed using an electric or hand mixer until smooth. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract, and lemon zest.

Make sure your cupcakes are completely cooled before you frost them! I frosted mines using a plastic sandwich bag. I basically scooped the icing into the bag, pushed all the icing towards one corner, removed the air from the bag, then zipped it and cut off the corner of the bag where I had pushed all of the frosting. Then I used the bag to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. It’s kind of a messy job, but it looks pretty!

And voila! Your cupcakes look beautiful, taste amazing, and you feel pretty accomplished because you made them!

Yeah bro. I made those cupcakes bro.

Le picture time:

According to my brother, the way I frosted the cupcakes makes the icing look like white poop. Haters gonna hate yo.

 Take care and I’ll see you soon my loves!

Banana Bread

5 Mar

Guess who’s back? Back again? Meeeee :D. So I decided to keep the blog, particularly because I’ve been trying out lots of new desserts lately and also because I’ve got tons more I want to try out. So here I am! :D Actually I have a lot of blog posts coming up. I edited so many pictures and now I just need to write the posts. Ahhhh lazinesss…

But I have so many blog posts coming up! So yay for that!

So a couple of months ago, I tried a new recipe for banana bread. I couldn’t really find a recipe for banana cake, but I’m planning on making one soon. The best banana cake I ever had was one I made with my cousin and my brother. All I remember was that we threw random stuff into the mix because we were missing some of the ingredients we needed and bam- we came up with the best banana cake.

Anyways, let’s talk about the banana bread I made recently. I got the recipe from Simply Recipes and it was pretty good, although I did screw it up by mistake and I’ll tell you about that in a bit.

Here’s the recipe I adapted from Simply Recipes. Enjoy my loves!

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4-1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

The mashed bananas and the butter

Mix the butter with the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.

I'm loving the colour contrasts here

Le smexy vanilla swirl

Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix them in. Add the flour and mix.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan.

Bake the loaf for around 45-50 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The original recipe says to bake the bread for an hour, which seemed like way too long. My loaf turned out very brown with a hard crust and I kept it in the oven for 55 minutes, and I also decreased the temperature to 150°C after 40 minutes. I also love the way the top of the crust cracked. It looks cool! :D

And ta-da! You are done! Seriously, banana bread is one of the easiest things to make. And it tastes pretty good too! :P

To finish off the banana bread, I spread some nutella on top and damn it looked good. The shiny hazelnutty nutella looked great on top of the bread and it tasted… well I’m sure you know how it tasted. Really. Good.

So now, how I screwed up. Well, the original recipe says to use 1 cup of sugar in the loaf, and that you can reduce it to 3/4 if you want to. I didn’t want my cake to be too sweet, so I put a little over 3/4 of a cup which turned out to be a mistake as later I found out I used salted butter in the bread by mistake. The end result was still good, although I wanted my loaf to be a little sweeter. Damn you salted butter :(

Also, I only used 3.5 bananas when I made the bread. I have no idea why I used 3.5, but in my notes here it says I only used that much. Now I’m wondering what prompted me to use that amount, but I think it’s because I wasn’t sure if I should use 3 or 4, so I ended up using 3.5. If I were to make the recipe again, I’d go for 4 bananas.

Time for le pics:

You know you want some.

Take care and I’ll see you soon my loves!