April 07, 2008

Sarah: 2008 Cooking Adventure, Week 15

Lisa and I were in charge of dessert for a potluck, so we thought we'd try something out of the Everyday Food book that Lisa was liking. When we got down to deciding between two options, we decided on Carrot Cupcakes, since we weren't quite ready (with good reason) to face a lemon dessert yet.

Everyone has some gut feeling about what should or should not be in carrot cake. I believe strongly that raisins have no place in this delicious concoction. And you, pineapple! I love you, but once you've been cubed and heated, get off of my pizza and out of my cake! I do not want those shrunken orbs or bizarrely hot squares anywhere near my carrot cake. For Lisa, she has taken an anti-coconut stance, and I have to respect that. We searched again for a recipe void of these three ingredients. The internet embrace us in spite of our eccentricities (what is the internet for, if not for that purpose?) and delivered to us this recipe.
We set to work on the carrot cupcakes, deciding to still use the icing recipe from Everyday Foods.

Carrot cupcakes have never been prettier, you guys. They came out of the oven looking perfectly rounded and moist. The icing was just the right amount for 12 cupcakes (and I'm so glad I found a cupcake more worthy of cream cheese icing than I had in the past). Once it came time to eat the cupcakes they were good. Definitely inoffensive, but also a little boring. When did Princess Sunken Cupcake get so picky? Shouldn't she be happy with whatever non-disaster she can get? Apparently not.

The moistness was nice, and, like I said, they were very pretty and easy to make. But there was also nothing gripping, nothing remarkable. Lisa mentioned that she prefers a darker carrot cake. I think that walnuts and more spices would go a long way towards upping the interest. Still, I would make these cupcakes again if I needed something fast and, since they're missing any wacky ingredients, they're sure not to alienate someone with strong carrot cake beliefs, like myself.
Recipe after the jump.

Carrot Cupcakes

4 medium carrots
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
Coarsely grate enough carrots to measure 2 cups (we used the food processor, but you could also use a grater with large holes.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl.

Whisk together oil, eggs, brown sugar, grated carrots, and vanilla in a large bowl, then stir in flour mixture until just combined.

Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on rack, about 1 hour more.

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, whisk the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Posted by sarah at April 07, 2008 08:23 PM

i should know better NOT to read your cooking entry when i'm fasting.

Posted by: stace on April 8, 2008 03:47 AM

Your kitchen is immaculate. I love your green teapot especially.

Posted by: Jeremy on April 8, 2008 08:42 AM

I like Lisa's little teapot. And it's all thanks to Lisa and Blake that it's so clean in there. I definitely don't pull my weight in housework. Sorry guys!

Posted by: sarah on April 8, 2008 09:04 AM
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