Saturday, 6 October 2007

Carrot cake muffins (Κέικ καρότου)

Muffins are perfect for school box lunches. They take up less space in a condensed area, come in their own packaging and leave no crumbs. I found a recipe for carrot cake on the web and turned it into muffins. I omitted the cinnamon, mainly because it's not a favorite of my family's. I also put the walnuts (we don't use pecans in Crete) in a blender and turned them into crumbs. They don't get stuck in your teeth this way!

For the sake of convenience, here is the carrot cake recipe from joyofbaking:
cup (110 grams) pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons
baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (240 ml) safflower or canola oil (but of course you can make this cake with olive oil)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C). Chop the nuts coarsely. Peel and finely grate the carrots. Set aside. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside. In a mixer, beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots and chopped nuts. Divide batter between two prepared pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

I made the recipe into muffins, which turned out excellent; they had a crispy exterior, while they remained soft and moist on the inside, but I didn't frost them (we don't need the extra calories). My only complaint is that they didn't have a spicy or tangy taste; without the cinnamon, they were rather bland, so the next time I make them, I will add orange or lemon zest to the batter. I highly recommend this recipe. It epitomises health, in that it contains many natural ingredients that we don't usually eat in our daily diet because they need preparation: carrots need paring and grating, the walnuts came from a friend's trees, and I added olive oil (produced from local olive groves). You can improvise on this recipe by adding raisins and crushed pineapple to make the cakes moister and more chewy. You can also freeze the muffins in the same way as banana cake muffins and allow them to defrost in a child's lunchbox; by break-tiume, they'll be ready for eating.

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.

Banana cake
Chocolate cake
Simple cake
Chocolate muffins
Walnut cake
Apple cake