Friday, 17 April 2015

Carrot Cake Muffins and Apple & Custard Lasagne

Carrot Cake is one of my favourites. If it's on the menu in a coffee shop I'm hard pressed to see past its charms. The Good Family Food Facebook Page asked me to come up with a spring recipe with a hidden vegetable so it was the obvious choice. Although having watched the contestants tackle vegetable cake showstoppers on the recent The Great Comic Relief Bake Off I was tempted to experiment with beetroot, courgette or even parsnip.


CARROT & ORANGE MUFFINS
Makes 12

Ingredients
225g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
75g Golden Castor Sugar
60g Porridge Oats
75g Sultanas
1 Free Range Egg
90ml Scottish Rapeseed Oil
110g roughly grated Carrot
1 Orange - rind and juice

Cream Cheese Frosting
60g Cream Cheese
120g Icing Sugar
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

Crystalised Carrots
1 Carrot
50g Sugar
100ml water



Method

Preheat the oven to 190c and place paper cases in a 12 hole muffin tin.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, raising agents, salt, spices and sugar. Then add the porridge oats and sultanas.

In a separate bowl beat the egg with a fork before adding the rapeseed oil, grated carrots, zest of the orange and the juice of the orange made up to 180ml with water.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry mixture and stir until just combined.

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes until tops are lightly browned.



Cream Cheese Frosting

Allow the muffins to cool completely before attempting to ice. Ensure the cream cheese is at room temperature prior to sieving the icing sugar into it. Add the vanilla extract and mix with a spoon. You may need to add some extra sugar to get a spreading consistency depending on the fat content of cream cheese that you use. Spread the frosting over the top of the muffins with a knife.



Crystalised Carrot

Peel and finely shred the carrot using a spiralizer, juilenne peeler or mandolin.

Bring the water and sugar to the boil in a small pan stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.

Add the carrot, turn down the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Strain through a sieve and discard the syrup.

Arrange in small bundles on a cooling rack and allow to firm up before placing on top of the frosted muffins.


If you can use vegetables in cakes then why not fruit in savoury dishes? Next up is a desert lasagne. One of the ladies at my Tuesday afternoon community cookery class mentioned this idea to me and I was intrigued. Apple, Custard and Pasta. Could it really work? There were mixed opinions on its success and it was definitely a talking point on social media. The pasta itself was a wee bit chewy so next time I'd either use fresh lasagne sheets or preboil it for a couple of minutes. 


APPLE & CUSTARD LASAGNE
8 apples, peeled cored and sliced
75g sultanas
6 sheets lasagne
1 tsp cinnamon
750ml custard

Preheat oven to 180c and grease a lasagne dish.
Simmer the apples, sultanas and cinnamon for 15-20 mins with a splash of water until softened but not totally mushy.
Layer half of the apple mixture in the dish followed by 3 sheets of lasagne and half the custard. Repeat and sprinkle the top layer of custard with some extra Cinnamon.
Bake for 30 mins



I asked my fellow food bloggers if they had any recipes to share with vegetables used in baking or deserts and fruit used in traditionally savoury dishes. Here's what they came up with, plus a couple more from me




Disclosure - QMS commissioned me and compensated me for my time in creating the Carrot Cake Muffin Recipe for their Good Family Food Facebook page. All views expressed are my own.

Link up your recipe of the week
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com
Casa Costello

16 comments :

  1. I do love that idea of turning savoury dishes into sweet ones and vica versa. I make chocolate chicken ( well that's what my 3yr old calls it) it's a bit of a naughty mix of brown sugar and garlic - no actual chocolate but hey she loves it. I saw a Nutella lasagne recently which looked a bit amazing!

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    1. My daughter would LOVE Nutella Lasagne. She's had Nutella Pizza a couple of times on holiday in Italy. Your Chocolate Chicken sounds good. WIll go and seek it out on your blog.

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  2. What great ideas. Carrot Cake always goes down well, but I've never tried a sweet lasagne, looks like a great idea.

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    1. Carrot Cake has pretty much become a staple, perhaps in years to come Apple & Custard Lasagne might be the same?!

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  3. Homebakes are a great way to hide vegetables. I love doing that - it makes one feel like the resulting sweet bake is almost good for you and not just pure indulgence! Lovely recipes, and thank you for linking up with my own!

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    1. I love the feeling of virtuousness from eating veg in cakes. A smug way to get one of your five a day.

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  4. The lasagne intrigues me so much, may just have to try it!

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    1. Whatever would Fanny make of it?! Do let me know if you give it a try.

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  5. I wished I liked custard - that sweet lasagne looks a great idea. I still remember my first time of trying carrot cake and thinking how amazing it was that carrots could taste so good! Thanks again for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek x

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    1. How can you not like custard?! Its strange that Carrot Cake is seen as pretty normal now.

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  6. This sounds like an amazing recipe mash up - sweet lasagna! Genius. Thanks for linking with #CookBlogShare

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    1. Not sure it will quite take off as the Cronut did but a food mash up all the same.

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  7. What a wonderful twist on lasagne - I've just got to give this a try. Thanks so much for linking up with the Italian-inspired Family Foodies challenge. Such an imaginative and ingenious entry!

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    1. Not quite sure what any genuine Italian cooks would make of it!

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  8. Wow I love the idea of an apple custard lasagne! I think I will definitely be trying it out...we have an apple tree that is very abundant this year! Thank you for sharing with my apple linky!!

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    1. We've got an apple tree in the garden too so I'll be keeping an eye on all the recipes linked up to #appleseason

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