Just last weekend I got a brand new camera and as soon as it was finished with its first charge, I had to spend some (or a lot) of time, having a play around with it. You see, I'm going overseas in just a couple of weeks, and the old camera was playing up just a bit too frequently for my liking. An example involves me standing in front of the 12 Apostles in Victoria, with the camera not working until it's been turned on and off again 10 times. I just cannot have this happen to me whilst in Europe.
My new camera is the Nikon coolpix S9100 which is a compact ultra zoom camera - apparently. Well, I'm really excited about taking this new toy overseas to capture some moments and memories of the adventure. I equally enjoy looking back through baking photos and the memories they're linked to. Some are linked to events, such as a brother's birthday, but others are linked to memories of the food itself and how good it tasted. When I look at the photos of these carrot cupcakes, I most definitely relate it back to how good they tasted and my mouth starts salivating craving one.
I looked at a few different recipes and in the end based mine on a carrot cake recipe with a few slight tweaks. I reduced the raising agent, increased the walnuts but finely chopped them up and also added crushed pineapple as I wanted the moisture without the flavour. And boy were these moist - I ate one 3 days after baking and it was still just as good as freshly baked. Also the carrot was grated using a microplane grater and this makes for a nice soft texture in the cake, although any grater will do. I'm so happy with how this recipe turned out that it will be my go-to carrot cake and cupcake recipe from now on.
The directions for decorating these cupcakes are in my previous post - Pretty in Blue Cupcakes.
Divine Carrot Cupcakes
adapted from Carol's Very Moist Carrot Cake (there's that "moist" word!) in Australian Family Table
Makes 24 cupcakes
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups caster sugar
1½ cups finely chopped walnuts
1½ cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated carrot
1 cup tinned crushed pineapple, drained
1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Line muffin tray with cupcake papers.
2. Sift flour into a large bowl with bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in sugar and walnuts.
3. In another bowl, beat together oil and eggs with a fork, then stir in grated carrot and pineapple.
4. Pour the wet mix into the dry ingredients and combine. Spoon batter into cupcake papers about ⅔ full and bake for 14-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out with no batter attached.
Cream Cheese Frosting
500g cream cheese, room temperature
150g butter, room temperature
1 Tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
2½ cups icing sugar
Beat together cream cheese, butter and maple syrup with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually beat in icing sugar until well combined and smooth.
Makes heaps of frosting for the cupcakes with leftovers, so you could easily get away with halving the recipe if you don't like much icing. It's good though...so good...so I would never have less frosting!