Cooking With Charl

Amateur home cook, with a love for baking and all things garlic :)

Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling (a mary berry adaptation)

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I absolutley love carrot cake, but its something i rarely bake myself as i can never get my cream cheese frosting just right, but i came across these little lovelys in the new good food magazine. originally from a feature on Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief by Mary Berry.

Now im not one to ever tamper with any of Marys recipes but i struggled with the ingredient ‘shredded bran cereal’ that she uses, as this could be a number of things, and we are not ceareal eaters in the house, and i wanted to make these quickly so i subsituted for porridge oats which i love in muffins anyway, so really this was nothing more than an experiment, which thankfully worked in my favor 🙂

Ingredients

(makes 12)

For the filling

  • 150g cream cheese
  • grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

For the muffins,

  • 50g porridge oats
  • 225ml milk
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 150g grated carrot
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 200g self raising flour (if using plain flour add 2 tsps baking powder, 3 in total)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 220c/gm7, place 12 muffin cases in muffin tins and set aside.
  • Place porridge oats in a bowl, cover with the milk and add the zest of half an orange, leave to sit for 5 mins.
  • In a large bowl add the light brown sugar, carrots and the porridge mixture and give it a good mix.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger into the bowl but DO NOT MIX.
  • Break the eggs into a measuring jug with the oil and mix together until the eggs are properly broken up. Add this to the large mixing bowl and combine everything together.
  • Mix together the cream cheese, caster sugar and 1/2 orange zest in a small bowl and set aside.
  • With a tablespoon place a dollop of the batter in each muffin case, making sure to cover the bottom of the case, then add a teaspoon of the cream cheese filling in the centre of each muffin.
  • Use the rest of the batter to spoon over the filling making sure all cakes are evenly filled.
  • Bake in the over for 15-20 mins until the cakes spring back when touched and are golden brown in colour.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack and eat within 1 day.

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I was quite impressed with my experiment and I think the porridge gives the cakes a nice texture 🙂 and after having friends over there are only 2 left!

If you want the original recipe you can find it through the Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief’s website.

Happy baking 🙂

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Cupcakes (basic recipe)

This recipe is especially for my friend Ali , she likes to bake but always cheats with cake mixes! (Much to my disgust! Lol) I’ve told her how easy it is to make cupcakes from scratch and thought I’d post it on here for others to have a look 🙂

This recipe can easily be doubled or used as a basic Victoria sponge recipe if divided between 2 shallow cake tins.

You will need

(Makes 6 large cupcakes)

110g self raising flour ( for plain flour add 2 tsp baking powder)
100g unsalted softened butter
100g caster sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
1egg
2tbsp milk

Method

There are so many techniques that people use for sponge, I find the all in one method works well for a basic sponge. I have included 2 techniques in this recipe 🙂

The ‘all in one’ method

  • Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until well combined

The creaming method

  • Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix until light and creamy.
  • Gradually mix in the egg and vanilla.
  • Fold in the flour (and baking powder if using plain flour) a little at a time.
  • When mixture seems to appear stiff add the milk and then continue to add the flour.

BAKE

Separate into 6 muffin cases and bake in a preheated oven at 180c gm4 for 15-20 mins until cakes spring back when touched.

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BASIC BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

150g butter
300g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp milk

Whisk all ingredients together until light and fluffy, start slowly making sure icing sugar doesn’t fly everywhere.

Using a star shaped nozzle, fill a piping bag with the buttercream frosting and pipe swirls on top on cooled cupcakes starting from the outside working into the middle.

VARIATIONS

I will be doing separate posts for other cupcakes as I tend to bake a few different types, these are just 2 of my favourite recipes that I bake. You can get many different decorations now from the supermarket such as stars, silver balls, glitter etc which make a simple cake look special! Fantastic given as a gift 🙂

Vanilla chocolate marble cupcakes (picture)

  • Make cupcake batter as normal, when well combined split the mixture into two equal portions and mix 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder into one half.
  • One teaspoon at a time, fill the cupcake cases with alternate chocolate and vanilla batter until 3/4 full.
  • Take a teaspoon handle and gently swirl the 2 mixtures together in the cases, careful not to over mix.
  • Bake as normal 180c gm 4 for 15-20 mins
  • For the chocolate frosting I just add a teaspoon of cocoa powder into the basic buttercream frosting.

Sticky jam cupcakes

  • Make basic cupcake batter.
  • Put 2 teaspoons of batter in each cupcake case and make a small dip in the middle.
  • Place a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each cupcake and then continue to fill with remaining batter.
  • Bake as normal 180c gm4 for 15-20 mins, when cool decorate with buttercream frosting
  • As I say this is my fool proof cupcake recipe that I always fall back on, and once you’ve mastered this you can become quite inventive with flavours and frostings.

Happy baking 🙂

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