Showing posts with label carrot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carrot. Show all posts

Monday, July 1, 2013

Carrot Mascarpone Muffins with Mascarpone Filling

A philosophical question for you:  When is a muffin a muffin and not a cupcake?  I do declare that it is when you abstain from adding frosting to it.  Crumbles are acceptable.  And streusel toppings.  And even glaze, but a muffin cannot have thick icing or frosting or whatever you like to call the sweet whipped stuff made with butter and sugar.  Because then it is a cupcake.  I realize this may be pedantic of me, but there you are.  I’ll own it.

Which brings me to this week’s muffin.  My younger daughter requested a carrot muffin because our ingredient this week is mascarpone.  And nothing goes better with carrot cake than cream cheese icing.  But, she knows how I feel about icing on muffins.  (See above.)  So she suggested I add a mascarpone filling.  That girl is a genius and knows the way around her mother.  These were perfect!

6 oz or 170g carrots
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt + pinch for filling
8 oz or 226g mascarpone (Divided – half for muffins, half for filling)
1/2 cup or 120ml canola oil
1 egg
1/4 cup or about 30g powdered sugar (for filling)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peel your carrots and cut them into short lengths.  Boil until tender.  Drain and mash with a potato masher until fairly smooth.  Set aside to cool.

Preheat your oven to 375°f or 190°C and prepare a 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it or lining the pan with muffin cups.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a small bowl, combine the egg, oil, cooled carrots and half of the mascarpone.  Mix thoroughly.  You will have to mash the mascarpone to get it mixed in.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just mixed.

Divide the thick batter between the muffin cups in your prepared pan.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely on a rack.

Meanwhile, mix the other half of the mascarpone with the powdered sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt.  Refrigerate the filling until the muffins are completely cool.

When your muffins are cool, use a sharp knife to cut a circle out of the middle of the muffin.

Lift the core out of the muffin and fill with a small spoonful of the sweetened mascarpone.

Cut the bottom off of the little muffin plug you removed and stuff the top in back on top of the filling.  Eat the pieces you cut off.  Baker’s privilege.  Remark to yourself that those are some fine bits of carrot mascarpone muffin.

Enjoy!  If you are really feeling the need for carrot cake with cream cheese icing, head over here.

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street, a culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week.  Drop Anuradha a quick line to join her on this journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.  Make sure to go and check out what my fellow bloggers have come up with this week!

Plus learn all you ever need to know about muffins, right here at Muffin 101.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Apple Banana Carrot Muffins #MuffinMonday

As some of you may have read, I celebrated a milestone birthday last week.  Yep, fifty years old already.  Which surprises me somewhat, because I can still remember what 10 felt like.  And 24.  Can anyone relate?  And while I have gotten considerably wiser and certainly more knowledgeable about a lot of things, 10 and 24 just don’t seem that long ago.  When I was 24 years old, more than a quarter of a century ago, we lived in Abu Dhabi and being back here and reconnecting with yet another old friend has freshened those memories enormously!

Those days, we spent every weekend with David, eating curry suppers after a rousing game of Pass the Pigs and a few cold beers on a Thursday night, cooking full English breakfasts (often at four or five a.m.), attending marathon “company” lunches that lasted from lunchtime through to early evening, but most especially, we sailed all day Friday and sometimes Saturday as well.  We had a Prindle catamaran and David sailed a wooden single hull boat called a Drascombe Lugger.   Along with a few other friends, we would launch our crafts in the morning, sailing out to some of the sandy spits offshore Abu Dhabi, bringing along drinks and sausages to grill.  We had fabulous weekends!

So guess what we did for my birthday? We went to Abu Dhabi, of course!  First there was a fun champagne tasting and dinner at David’s on my actual birthday evening.  Then we sailed all the next day, sipping cold wine and eating hot sausages in buns.  And then Saturday night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner out that started with champagne and included a specially chosen wine with each delicious course.  All in all, a great birthday weekend adding to great memories with a dear friend.

One of the sandy spits, with a view of the shores of Abu Dhabi.  These are often almost covered at high tide
so you have to plan your lunch stop wisely.

Here are just a few of the things I know after 50 years:
1. Your real friends don’t change and it doesn’t matter how often you get to see them, you will still love them and enjoy their company. And they will love you.
2. Friendships have a collective memory.  What you don’t remember, someone else will and vice versa.  Which is really important as we age.
3. Having a good giggle about old times reinforces the collective memory of all so we should get together with old friends more often.
4. When people are hurting, you should cook for them.  Your time and concern nurture their souls and the food nurtures their bodies.
5. Sailing is one of the best ways to spend a day.
6. When you stay with people, you should bring them food, drink and/or flowers.
7. Love people like you’d like to be loved, because it’s the right thing to do.
8. Be loyal to your friends and they will be loyal in return.
9. The company of good friends makes good food and drink taste even better.

In keeping with number six, I brought these tasty muffins to share for breakfast.   Our recipe this week was for a maple apple muffin, but I thought I’d make them an even more complete breakfast by adding bananas and grated carrot and then topping them with some crunchy granola.  Perfect.

For the muffins:
1 1/4 cups or 160g all purpose flour
1/2 cup or 100g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1/2 cup ripe banana (about 3/4 of an 8-in or 20cm banana)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup or 60ml honey
1 medium carrot
1 small green apple

For the topping:
1/2 cup or about 60g granola or muesli of your choice
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 cup or 25g light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Fill the muffin tin with liners or grease it really well with butter or non-stick spray.

Measure your flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and give them a good stir to mix.

Cut chunks off of your banana and mash them with a fork into in a measuring cup.  When the mashed banana hits 1/2 cup, eat what’s leftover, if any.

In another smaller bowl, mix the egg, mashed banana, vanilla, honey and butter.

Peel and grate your carrot and mix it into the liquids bowl.

Peel and core your apple and cut it into little pieces.  Add them to the liquids bowl as well and stir to coat.  This will keep your apple from turning brown.

Make your topping by crunching the granola into small pieces with the end of a thick wooden spoon.  Add in the butter and stir and mash until it is combined.  Add in the light brown sugar and mix well.  Set aside.

Complete the batter by pouring the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and fold until they are just combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.

Use your fingers to sprinkle the topping on the batter.

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin and then remove to a rack to cool completely.