Sunday, August 16, 2009

Top score!

I GOT into work the other day to find a cupcake sitting on my desk.

Obviously this was pretty damn exciting all by itself – it was chocolate, no less – but when I went over to thank the bringer of the cupcake, my lovely boyfriend, there was even better news in store.

The cupcakes, it came out, had been delivered in a massive cupcake courier that was now sitting, lost and lonely (and completely empty – it’s like a flock of vultures fighting over a carcass when food enters my office), on the mail desk.

Well! Forget the cupcake, this was far more important. A few polite inquiries about the possible future of the cupcake courier later (the office assistant was going to throw it in the bin! The very idea), I was lugging it back to my desk happy as a clam.

Later that night, when I pulled it out from under the desk to head home, my seatmates’ eyes nearly fell out of their heads.

As regular beneficiaries of my baking adventures, they were pretty excited about the courier in itself – but as blokes, it took them all of about five seconds to come up with a different use for it.

“You could fit 12 beers in there!” Danny said. “The ice goes in the cupcake hole and then the beer goes on top!”

For the moment, though, I think I’ll stick to cupcakes, and these carrot ones are one of my favourite cake recipes.

The carrot is a pain in the rear end to grate, I have to admit, but the end result is so moist and flavourful I always forget about my scratched knuckles as soon as the cake is iced.

Carrot and walnut cake

Makes 12 cupcakes

2 cups plain flour

2 cups caster sugar

2 tbs cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp bicarb soda

3 cups grated carrot (roughly four big carrots)

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Cream cheese icing

250g cream cheese

80g butter, softened

1 cup icing sugar, sifted

1 tbs lemon juice OR 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180C. Line cupcake tin with patty pans.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

Add grated carrot, oil and eggs, mixing until the dry ingredients are moistened and then beating eith an electirc beater for two minutes. Mix will be quite runny.

Fold in the walnuts and spoon into pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and cool on a rack before icing.

For icing, beat butter and cream cheese together in an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in icing sugar and flavour and beat until light and fluffy.

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