Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fabulous Carroty (Cup)cakes

gluten free carrot cupcake

My roommate was a little disappointed I left the rest of the carrot cake with our friends. She really wanted to have some more, so she asked if we could make another batch of carrot cake, but this time as cupcakes. We had a time limit, as she was planning to do a cleansing fast over the weekend.

We decided that it would be a good thing, because this way we could experiment with the cinnamon, which we feel the original recipe didn't have enough of.

So when I found out last Wednesday that my clients were going into the hospital that night to be induced, I knew that Thursday was my last chance to bake carrot cupcakes before my roomie went on her cleanse.

March 15, 2007
Name of cupcake: Fabulous Spicy Carroty Cupcakes
Occasion: It's Like The Fat Tuesday To My Roommate's Cleanse
Constituents: Fabulous Carroty Cake with more cinnamon and add cardamom

There really isn't much to say about this bakeapade.

Except there is a lot of preparation required for this cake. You gotta toast and chop the nuts. You gotta toast the coconut. Grate the carrots. Measure out all the ingredients.

It doesn't seem like a lot, but it is a lot.

We added 3 tsp of Vietnamese cinnamon and one teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom.

Excellent. I think that should be a permanent change.

We also decided not to frost all the cupcakes outright, this way if one wanted to eat them for breakfast, they could be like little muffins, but if one wanted a cupcake for dessert she could frost it with cream cheese frosting (defrosted from the oscar cupcakes) and go to town, and add some leftover toasted coconut, and maybe a toasted pecan.

Good times.

gluten free carrot cupcake

Friday, March 09, 2007

Fabulous Carroty Cake

There is an incredible aroma wafting through my apartment right now.

It smells of orange, and Vietnamese cinnamon, toasted coconut, toasted pecans, and a little carrot. It smells like cake.

These are good smells.

My friend, who just had a her first baby a couple of weeks ago, is also celebrating her birthday today! She asked for a gluten-free carrot cake, and that's what is smelling so yummy right now. I mean, how can the ECL say no. Especially when it's her day off and she doesn't have much else to do.

pecan

March 8, 2007
Name of cake: Fabulous Carroty Cake
Occasion: New Baby! Happy Birthday!
Constituents: GF Carrot-Pecan Cake from 3 Bowls with Kick-Ass Cream Cheese Frosting

I am kind of tired and feeling uninspired. So please forgive me if this post is boring and lame.

I mean, I'm really not feeling it tonight. Sigh. Here's the recipe.
GF Coconut-Pecan Carrot Cake
based on the CPCC in the book 3 Bowls by Seppo Ed Farrey
If you are a frequent reader, you will remember that I had a GF flour mix mishap. I am thinking that is the reason why the Oscar Cupcakes fell--too much cornstarch. The original carrot cake recipe calls for 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour and 3/4 cup of toasted wheat germ. So I decided to use one cup of the ECL GF flour mishap and 1.75 cups of brown rice flour. And the cake didn't fall! Hooray!

I suppose if you had a GF flour mix that you didn't mishap, you could probably do the same thing: use your flour mix for 1 cup of the cake and use brown rice flour for the other 1.75 cups. Or, you could just use your GF mix and omit the brown rice flour.
  • 1 cup ECL GF flour mishap
  • 2 3/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 3 1/2 cups packed grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup toasted shredded unsweetened coconut
Actually, I used the regular ol' sweetened shredded coconut that I toasted in a heavy bottomed pan. I guess that doesn't make this cake truly sugar-free.

toasted coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish, or two 9-inch cake rounds.
We opted for two 9 inch rounds, because the ratio of frosting to cake is better.
2. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Combine the applesauce, honey, and maple syrup with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, beat until frothy. Add the vanilla, orange zest, and beat.

4.Stir the flour mixture into the applesauce mixture just until thoroughly blended.
I totally ignored the part about just until thoroughly blended and I beat the crap out of the batter until I was satisfied it was well aerated.

GF carrot cake!
well aerated batter = nicely risen cake

Had this batter been made with glutinous flours it probably would have been best to just barely mix it, but since we are dealing with flour with no real reason to stick together, I say beat it! Beat it!!!
4. (con't) Fold in the carrots, pecans, and coconut.

5. Scrape the batter into the well greased pans of your choosing and level the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan(s) on a cooling rack; turn out and let cool completely on the rack. Frost and eat.
The cake was awesome. First off, it was fluffy, NOT GRAINY!!, and tender. There were a lot of components in this cake and the orange zest was a little strong and the cinnamon a little weak, but it was damn good. If I hadn't announced that it was GF, sugar free, and low in fat, I don't think anybody would have guessed.

GF carrot cake!
Kick-Ass Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from a pilfered internet recipe that calls for 3x as much sugar as you really need

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound (2 8-oz boxes = 1 pound) cream cheese (not fat free) room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup fine or superfine milled cane sugar or honey or whatever

  • in a bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until soft and fluffy. add the cream cheese, vanilla, and salt and beat at low speed just until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. using a rubber spatula, clean the beaters and scrape the sides of the bowl whenever necessary during beating. start by adding half a cup of sugar or sweetener and beat well. add enough sugar to taste; not more than one cup. beat well to ensure the sugar dissolves.

    use soon after or refrigerate. let the frosting come up to room temperature if cold, and beat a bit to fluff it back up.

    enough to fill and frost a 2 layer 9 inch cake.
    This time around, I used about 3/4 cup of honey for the sweetener. It left the frosting a little bit tangy, which I liked but not my roommate, so we added maybe 2.5 tablespoons of xylitol. Did you know xylitol is from the bark of some tree or something? Crazy.

    I beat the crap out of this frosting which I didn't like. It made it too fluffy; cream cheese frosting is supposed to be on the dense side of things. So, blend the ingredients well, but don't leave the mixer on while you look around for your 1 cup measuring cup, find it dirty in the dishwasher, and clean and dry it. Just saying.

    crappy picture of a great cake
    i know, the photo isn't too good, but you get the idea

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Trans Fat Fight Claims Butter as a Victim - New York Times

    Trans Fat Fight Claims Butter as a Victim - New York Times

    Come on, people! When is the madness going to end?

    This is my theory. Actually, it's not my theory. I got it from a book about cat care. But it is still a good theory.

    Stick to nature and you can't go too far wrong.

    How is MARGARINE more natural than BUTTER?

    I am proud to announce that ECL will always bring you natural trans-fat laden baked goods. No shortening, margarine, or other terrible processed fat will be found here.

    I expect you all to do the same.