Sunday, 7 April 2013

Dark Chocolate Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Building and baking doesn't appear to be a very compatible relationship. Don't worry, I'm coping - but I'm definitely a little  testier than usual.
 I like neat and tidy. And it is hard to do neat and tidy when your kitchen is being dismantled around you. And we haven't even got to the major part of the gutting yet - really, it is just one little hole in the wall so far... and no lights to see what I'm doing. Which is tricky, but at the same time it hides the chaos. (Gotta find that silver lining.) The big picture is that I'll have a bright and shiny new kitchen after this, so I'll just focus on that, then...silver lining, silver lining....

So if I'm a little sporadic in my presence on these pages, just know it's because I'm under a mound of plaster dust.

Here's a recipe revisit:

I posted this as cake recipe last year, but it works very well as cupcakes too.
When I wrote it up then, I mentioned that the original recipe called for cream cheese icing, but as a cake it actually needs very little to adorn it.
However, cupcakes wouldn't be cupcakes if they didn't have a swirl of something sweet and sublime on them, so I decided to use Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream instead.

Dark Chocolate Carrot Cake - Cupcakes 
Recipe from  " From my Oven ", Fay Lewis. Struik. 

185g butter, at room temp
10ml grated orange rind
160g caster sugar
2 jumbo eggs
15ml golden syrup
375ml finely grated carrots (I use the food processor) 
200g self-raising flour
2.5ml bicarb
75ml cocoa powder
200ml milk

Preheat oven to 175'C
Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases - makes approx 15 cupcakes, depending on the size.   

In a mixer, cream together the butter caster sugar and orange rind.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the syrup.

Add the carrots and milk; then sift in the flour, cocoa and bicarb. Mix gently until combined. 

Spoon into the prepared cases. 

Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. 

Remove from the oven, and from muffin tin. Allow to cool completely before icing. 

For the icing; 

The interesting thing (well, I find it interesting!) is that, while you usually add your flavours at the end of making SMB - cooled melted chocolate, peanut butter (or how about both?! Yum, yum - got to try that some time!) doesn't work  with cream cheese. 
For this version, you have to whip the cream cheese and then add the already made SMB slowly to that:

Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
recipe from

2  egg whites
1/2 cup  white granulated sugar
200g butter, cut into cubes, at room temp.
Vanilla extract 1 tub (250g) cream cheese, at room temperature. 

Put the egg whites and sugar into a mixing bowl, and place that over a suitable saucepan of simmering water. The bottom of the mixing bowl must not be in contact with the water, and the water should not be boiling.

Whisk constantly, until the sugar granules have dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch.

Move off the stove, and to the mixer.
Using the whisk attachment, whip until it forms a thick and glossy meringue.

When the mixing bowl feels neutral to touch (ie, no longer hot), change over to the paddle attachment, and add the butter one cube at a time. 
 It may curdle, but just keep whipping until it reaches a satiny smooth texture, and holds its shape.

Add the vanilla extract. 

Then, in another bowl, beat the (room temperature) cream cheese until soft and smooth. Then add the SMB to it, gradually.
Beat together until the consistency is like stiffly whipped cream.

Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

...and enjoy!

Wish me luck for the renovations (gulp!)!


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