Sometimes I find it really hard baking cakes for a living. I agree it can be stressful meeting deadlines, hoping and praying that the hard work you’ve put into your project is appreciated by the customer. No, what I mean is that there is temptation all around you! The odd stray Smartie or Malteser, a broken piece of cookie that might have snapped in half as you take it off the oven tray….The list of tempting treats is all around you at all the time!
Take last week for instance. I was baking for a stall at a local Summer Fair in aid of the RSPCA and found myself in the kitchen with all the usual attractions. I had so much to do and cram in to the day that I did not find time to sit down and have a proper lunch, instead I ate two pieces of toast! No wonder at 4 o’clock I was desperate to eat anything, even my dog’s IAM’s were beginning to look appealing.
Last Saturday I felt even worse as I attempted a real favourite of mine from the Primrose Bakery Cookbook – Carrot Cakes with a Cream Cheese Frosting! I ADORE carrot cake and decided this was a great recipe to try out along with the other things I usually offer on my stalls. It was a crying shame to not be able to sneak one! I was pleased they sold out along with my chocolate ones.
The only time consuming part of making the carrot cupcakes is the carrot grating. I usually do it with the grater attachment of my food processor but I couldn’t be faffed to get it out of the cupboard and to be cleaning it up afterwards! I just used my hand cheese grater, it took ages and I nearly grated my fingers but it was worth it.
The rest of the mixture was easily combined: golden caster sugar, flour, free range eggs, sunflower oil, vanilla extract and raisins, then the carrots were folded in. There was enough mixture to comfortably fit into a dozen large cupcake cases. These orange ones were from a set of rainbow coloured cases bought from Lakeland. I thought they looked lovely instead of the usual brown ones I use for carrot cakes.
I was delighted with the result and the smell was heavenly. My sister in law who was staying with us asked if there were any leftovers, sadly there weren’t in the end! I’ll just have to make some more on her next visit!
The Primrose Bakery suggested teaming the carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing. I usually do this as I find buttercream is a bit too sweet for my liking. In the Primrose Bakery recipes they usually add their own swirl with a pallette knife but I prefer to do my own swirl with a star shaped nozzle. I also added some ready made sugar carrot decorations that I had in the cupboard.
Et voila! Here are the carrot cupcakes on show at the Summer Fair along with some chocolate cupcakes I made to fit on my metal stand.