I tried out a new carrot cake recipe, which required carrot juice in addition to grated carrots as well as pineapple and almond meal and tons of different spices. This is quite the opposite of the very simple grated carrot and cinnamon that constitute my carrot sandwich cookies, which people seem to enjoy very much. I am not sure about the feedback on these (one person who ate one told me she liked it). This was not a difficult recipe but required more steps than a carrot cake needs to.
Carrot pineapple spice cake
1 cup carrot juice
2 cups flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup sunflower (or other neutral-flavored vegetable) oil
1 pound carrots, finely freshly grated
1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple (or canned crushed, drained pineapple)
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
First, put the carrot juice on the stovetop in a pan or skillet and turn on high heat. When it boils, turn down the heat and let simmer about 5 to 6 minutes until the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup. Once reduced, remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 350F, line your cupcake pans with liners.
Mix dry ingredients of cake in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together.
Mix sugar, oil, grated carrots, drained pineapple and reduced carrot juice together with a mixer. Beat on medium until well blended. Add dry ingredients in three additions, beating to incorporate each time. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between additions. Add the vanilla at the end.
Put the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake for about 20 minutes (insert a toothpick in the center of the cupcakes; when the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done). Let cool before frosting.
Vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream with Daim candy
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
as much crushed Daim candy as you want
Mix the egg white and the sugar together and heat over a double boiler. The sugar should be completely dissolved when you remove it from heat. Pour the mixture into a large bowl (preferably the mixing bowl of a stand mixer — Swiss meringue is mixing intensive, so a stand mixer works best). Whisk on high speed until stiff but still wet peaks form. Continue to beat for about five or six minutes after these peaks form.
Switch to the paddle attachment and turn the speed to medium low. Add the butter in one or two tablespoons at a time. The mixture might start to look lumpy and curdled. Don't worry. Keep mixing. When things start to come together, beat in the vanilla extract and keep beating for another two minutes. It might take some time to get to the right texture. You will know when it comes together in a solid, fluffy, frosting-like consistency. Mix in the desired amount of crushed Daim candy. (After frosting the cupcakes, sprinkle crushed Daim on top.)
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