Cashew, Carrot, Cardamom Cupcakes with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting23

Posted by in Carrots, Indian-Inspired, Nuts, Spices (Sunday October 21, 2007 at 4:47 pm)

cashew, carrot, cardamom cupcakes with cashew cream cheese frosting

This recipe is inspired by a delicious dessert I had when I was last in India. I actually didn’t know the name of the dessert, but I described it to my coworker and she informed me that what I had was Gajar Halwa or carrot pudding. I considered two preparations, one where I made the pudding and stuffed cupcakes with it and the second where I made the pudding and put it directly in to the batter. I opted for the second, simpler preparation. We were having an amazing weekend in San Francisco and I didn’t want to spend it all indoors.

These cupcakes are delicious and completely edible (meaning I could eat and eat them). The cake is much like a typical carrot cake, but mellower. Otherwise, it is just as moist and very flavorful with the crunch of the cashews and slight spiciness of the cardamom. The frosting is scrumptious. I am a fan of cashews and I am very happy with how this recipe came out – creamy, not too sweet, slightly tangy, and very “cashewy”. Together the cake and frosting result in a perfect mid-morning or afternoon treat – satisfying without overwhelming.

Cupcakes
makes 30 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 pound carrots
2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon cardamom pods
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup cashews, chopped

1. Peel, rinse, and grate the carrots with a fine grater.
2. Sauté the carrots in clarified butter for 3 minutes. Add the water, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
3. Remove the lid. Stir to cook off any remaining water.
4. Add the milk and cardamom pods. Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
5. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and stir to dissolve. Simmer for 5 more minutes. You could stop here and have some yummy pudding to eat with vanilla ice cream.
6. Remove of the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. I spread the mixture on a sheet pan so it would cool faster. Remove cardamom pods.
7. In a large bowl, mix together the cooled, cooked carrot mixture, eggs, vanilla, 1-1/2 cups sugar, vegetable oil, and milk.
8. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.
9. Stir the flour mixture into the carrot mixture. Continue to stir until combined.
10. Add the chopped cashews and stir to combine.
11. Scoop out into cupcake papers about 2/3s full. This will give you a nice dome that won’t overflow, so long as your oven is hot enough.
12. Bake at 350 degree oven for ~25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

cardamom and cashews
cardamom and cashews

Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup cashews
2-3 tablespoons vegetable or nut oil
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, room temperature
8 ounces or 1 package of Philly cream cheese
3-4 cups powdered sugar

1. Grind the cashews for a few pulses in a food processor to break them up.
2. Add two tablespoons of oil and continue to pulse until the nuts start to get creamy. Add more oil, 1 teaspoon or so at a time, until you get to a creamy consistency like chunky peanut butter.
3. Beat the butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add the cashew butter and beat to combine. Scrape the bowl.
4. Sift 3 cups of the powdered sugar into the bowl. Beat to combine.
4. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

Note: If you add too much sugar and the frosting gets too thick, simply add a tablespoon or so of milk to soften it up.

Assemble
1. Frost the cooled cupcakes.
2. Garnish with a cashew or candied carrot.

ready for transport
ready for transport

Carrot Orange Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Orange Peel Nest24

Posted by chockylit in Carrots, Cheese, Citrus, Nuts, Spices, Step-by-Step Photos (Sunday April 16, 2006 at 3:55 pm)

I normally don’t feel very inspired to make themed cupcakes for holidays. I consider it dangerous territory into which I don’t dare tread. I never say never, though, that’s for sure. And this past week I was indeed inspired by the colorful caramel robin’s eggs that were for sale at Peet’s Coffee. The vibrant blue of the egg was screaming for something orange…

These cupcakes ended up quite delicious – very moist cake with a touch of spice, creamy frosting, and candied orange peel that provides a nice burst of orange flavor and a chewy, crunchy texture. The egg is yummy on it’s own.

Cupcakes
makes 30 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 cup pecans
2-3 medium oranges
1 pound carrots
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch of allspice
pinch of ground nutmeg

1. Toast pecans in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes.
2. Remove from the oven, let them cool, then chop coarsely.
3. Peel oranges and puree in a blender or food processor. Measure out 1/2 cup of the liquidy pulp.
4. Peel, rinse, then grate carrots coarsely.
5. In a large bowl, combine orange pulp, carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, and vegetable oil.
6. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
7. Fold flour mixture into the carrot mixture.
8. Fold in pecans.
9. Scoop out into cupcake papers.
10. Bake at 350 degree oven for ~20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting with a Hint of Orange

16 ounces or 2 packages of Philly cream cheese
3/4 stick butter
5-7 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice

1. Bring cheese and butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add half of the sugar and the orange juice. Beat until combined.
5. Gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

Candied Orange Peel Nests

Why reinvent the wheel? Nic over at the Baking Sheet has already gone and posted a recipe for candied orange peel. I researched a handful of methods and I liked the sound of this one over the others.

I cut the recipe in half. The only other change I made was to cut peel of the orange with a vegetable peeler then cut it into strips before soaking over night. Other then that change, I basically followed the recipe in her post.


cutting the orange peel


orange peel strips


candied orange peel

Assembly
1. Pipe some frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
2. Top off each frosted cupcake with some candied orange strips and a caramel egg.


caramel eggs

Recipe: Carrot Ginger Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Carrot Sprinkles6

Posted by chockylit in Carrots, Cheese, Nuts, Spices (Sunday July 24, 2005 at 12:00 pm)

I love ginger-carrot cupcakes and made some changes to the recipe since I last made them. I added the candied ginger for the first time, doubled the ginger, and doubled the cinnamon. I wanted something with a bit more bite. I am pleased with the way they came out. I can really taste the ginger compared to the last version, but its not over powering or anything. I am interested to see what tasters have to say.

Cupcakes
makes 30 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 cup pecans
1 pound carrots
3 large eggs
1/2 cup 1% fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup candied ginger (purchased at Trader Joe’s)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. toast pecans in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes
2. remove from the oven, let them cool, then chop coursely
3. peel, rinse, then grate carrots coursely
4. in a large bowl, combine carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil,
fresh ginger, and candied ginger
5. in another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
6. fold flour mixture into the carrot mixture
7. fold in pecans
8. scoop out into cupcake pans
9. bake at 350 degree oven for ~20 minutes or unti cake tester comes out clean
10. cool in pan for 15 minutes, cool on wire rack completely

Candied Carrot Sprinkles

2 peeled carrots
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

1. using a zester, create carrot strips
2. in a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil
(brush down the sides of the saucepan with cold water)
3. add carrot curls, reduce the heat, cook curls for about 10 minutes.
4. take off the heat and let sit for about 5 minutes
5. remove carrot in clumps onto a wire grate
6. let clumps cool
7. chop and break up carrot into sprinkles

Assembly
1. transfer a tablespoon of cream cheese frosting onto each cooled cupcake (I use the cream cheese frosting recipe from the Buttercup Bakeshop book)
2. smooth out with a small pallet knife
3. top off each frosted cupcake with some candied carrot sprinkles