Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Dessert: Orange Carrot Cupcakes

- Orange Carrot Cupcakes -

For Easter dessert, carrot cupcakes sounded delicious. So, I made the carrot cake cupcakes from Diana's Desserts for our Easter dinner. She has a lot of wonderful recipes and make sure to try her peanut butter cookie recipe. It is outstanding! It is my to go recipe... Below you will find comments along with pictures about the cupcakes, Mascarpone icing, and garnish following her recipe.

The Cupcakes:

The carrots are in. Almost done!

I followed the instructions of the recipe word for word and used maple syrup. For the step where you are supposed to stir the baking soda and the warmed orange juice make sure you are using a medium size bowl. Once you add the baking soda, you have a chemical reaction happening called carbon dioxide gas. Your mixture will bubble and expand immediately.

Baking those cupcakes for Easter, I used those cute baking cups from Wilton with egg shapes design and pattern with soft colors that I found at my grocery store.

The recipe indicated a total of 10 cupcakes and I made 12. I use an ice cream scoop to fold the batter into the cupcake paper holder (1 scoop in 1 cupcake holder). 

12 Cupcakes Ready to Bake
Out of the Oven

The cupcakes cooked a little bit longer than the 20 minutes suggested to get this nice golden/brown color and let them cool down on a rack where they stay for several hours.

The Mascarpone icing:

The lemon zest is in.

I stuck to the original instruction for the icing and used the Mascarpone. The recipe suggested Mascarpone or cream cheese. I went for the Mascarpone but be aware of its very high in fat content. 2 tablespoons are 130 calories with 120 from fat compared to 70 calories (62 from fat) for regular cream cheese.
I did not use all the icing that I made to cover the cupcakes and had around 1 cup of icing left. I am not a big fan of icing. I think that it masks the taste of the cupcakes. I am sure you can use all of it if your guests are fan of icing ;-)

Because the cupcakes were Easter dessert, I added some Jelly Beans on top and Voila!

- 12 Easter Orange Carrot Cupcakes -

  • What do I think of the cupcake?
The cupcake was moist, light and it was very easy to peel off the paper holder. After my first bite, I knew that I had to rename this recipe from carrot cake cupcake to orange carrot cupcake because of the orange flavor. If you are expecting to carrot cake flavor you need to find another recipe. I was disappointing because I was expecting a carrot cake flavor and got an orange flavor. However, the orange flavor of the cupcake was not overpowering and you could taste the maple syrup as well. It is a nice flavor combination. The icing was very creamy and melted in your mouth like butter. I was afraid that it would be a bit too lemony but the flavor is subdued. Even my husband who does not care for lemon liked it. Overall, the cupcakes were tasty and if you like citruses you will definitively love them.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vegan Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread with Wheat Germ

- Vegan Whole Wheat Bread with Wheat Germ -

This recipe makes 1 loaf of 20 slices (at least).

- 2 and 1/4 t of yeast
- 2 T agave
- 2 cups water
- 1 and 1/4 t salt
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 3 cups of whole wheat flour + 5/8 cup for kneading

1. In a medium size bowl, mix yeast, agave and in warm water (between 100 and 110 degree Fahrenheit) and let it set for 10 minutes.
2. Combine and stir the whole wheat flour, salt and wheat germ in a large bowl.
3. Spray some canola oil in a baking bread pan and set aside.
4. Pour the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir well. If the dough is a little bit sticky add around 1/8 of cup of whole wheat flour at the time.
5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes (add flour as need) and shape it as the same form as you baking pan.
6. Place the dough in the baking pan, cover it with clear plastic paper, place it on the top of the dough and place the pan in the fridge to rise until it doubles in size or over night.
Note: (1) Spray some oil on the side of the clear plastic wrap which will touch the dough to avoid to stick when it will rise. (2) The dough rises pretty fast. I planned to let it rise overnight but after 3 hours  in the fridge I was satisfied with the result and baked it.

Ready to Rise

After Rising for 3 Hours in the Fridge


7. After the dough had risen, cut the middle with a knife (1/4 inch in) and sprinkle some whole wheat flour and wheat germ.
8. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degree Fahrenheit or until golden brown.
9. Let it cool down on a rack.

What do I think about the recipe?
Taste: The bread has mild flavor and you do not taste the agave which still surprises me because it has a particular flavor.
Texture: You will notice a soft texture at the first bite which is nice to the palate. Because of it dense texture, the bread holds well when spraying jelly or butter.

This bread is definitively a nice bread for sandwiches and fast and easy to make.

Happy Baking! :-)