Posts Tagged 'walnuts'

carrot & walnut cupcakes…by snow

*i apologise. there was a delicious casualty…middle down, second row across. very unprofessional.* so it happened, i finally made a cupcake. in my defense, i was in difficult and extenuating circumstance. i never could really get my head around maths as a youth. i was described by a maths teacher as “despondent” and mainly “disruptive”. there are however some mathematical equations that add up, like –

this:

+ this:

= this:

snow was kind enough to give me a recipe. i was of course hesitant, fearing a return to another cwa-esque baking experience. i was seriously concerned about the use of oil instead of butter. i was concerned about the cream cheese in the frosting. but, fraught with anxiety though i was, i put all my eggs (which i dont like anyway) into snows rock solid basket and decided to march inexorably on. the end result was, if nothing else, a carrot and walnut cupcake. with cream cheese icing. after all, this is america. they were met with the very best responses any girl could hope for: “oh…what did you do to them?”. proceeding to then ice them, they were, in the final analysis, met with a face scrunched up in displeasure. i mean, i do understand. no one wants to see cream cheese going into icing. and nor should they have to. thats the kind of baking that should take place behind closed doors and eaters should only wonder what it was that went into the icing that made it so rich and creamy, never to be exposed to cold reality of philadelphia cream cheese. alack, there are no doors or walls in this open-plan kichen/studio/office/playground, and so he saw and he watched as i sheepishly dumped a block of cream cheese into an exquisite, harmonious pastel yellow mixture of butter and icing sugar. and thats when the previously unforseen reality of these cupcakes became abundantly clear. but i liked them. i guess with 20 cupcakes sitting on the bench, it would maybe be better if i didnt like them. but their nuttiness, and carotene goodness made me happy and wholesome and i rarely experience the latter. so try them. and theyre easy. in snow time, 30 minutes. in moon time an hour and a half. in people time between 30-60 minutes, beginning to end.

here it is:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup oil

beat together til sugar dissolves

add 3 eggs and as much vanilla as you feel you can get away with. mix til pale.

sift in:

1 1/3 cup flour

1 1/3tsp baking powder

1 1/3tsp baking soda

1 1/3tsp cinnamon

add wet to dry. then fold in 2 cups grated carrot and 1/2 cup walnuts or raisins or whatevs. put in oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. while thats going on, make the icing

225g butter

225g cream cheese

225g icing sugar

vanilla

zest of 1/2 a lemon

mix together and apply liberally to resultant cupcakes. unless your people dont like cream cheese. probably best not. even if they say ‘yum’. that means they are being polite.

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walnut cannoli with marscapone

last night i was presented with a number of horrifyingly dull ways to pass the time…sit and read a tome entitled ‘marxism and the french left’, do some school-related things that are too boring to utter, re-read the american food blogs that make me mad and indignant, indulge in voyeuristic facebook related activities and numb my ever diminishing humanity, or dematerialise into the void between four computer screens. so the only real option then, as far as i was aware, was to make some cannoli. this recipe was taught to me by the master giorgio locatelli…and from my first sighting (and subsequent eating) it was burned into my minds eye. and last night it flashed in front of me…like a dream recalled. actually these arent quite cannoli…because not even i am prepared to use lard and/or (probably or) duck fat. i would re-title it walnut tuiles with marscapone but that just sounds like a lot of wank. so cannoli. with marscapone. very very lovely indeed.

ingredients

70g butter

250g sugar

4 egg whites

60g flour

190g walnuts ground

tsp (or 6) of vanilla

filling:

300g marscapone

20g icing sugar

tsp vanilla

(also optional, i added a shot of espresso and i feel some shards of chocolate would have been a very elegant solution to the problem of a complete absence of chocolate. alternatively some candied peel because, while i find it to be deeply offensive to my tastebuds, i do recognise its place in the world and mostly in the world of cream which needs an edge. some chopped walnuts, mixed into the marscapone, would be good too to echo whats going on around it.)

first melt the butter. then beat the eggs and sugar. slowly add the flour and beat well for about 5 minutes until thick and creamy looking. slowly drizzle in the melted butter. finally add the vanilla and the walnuts and mix to combine. cover this with glad wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (preferably over night).

to make the filling, mix the marscapone with the vanilla and the sugar.

if you are using some espresson just add a few tsps of a shot to the mix and stir to combine. cover and put in the fridge until you need it.

preheat the oven to 180 degrees. the cooking requires some craft work…not my thing but its just cutting a whole in a piece of cardboard, about 12ish cm in diameter. place the cardboard circle down on a baking tray lined with baking paper and spread very very thinly the walnut mix in the middle of the circle. (spread it so thinly that you can see the baking paper through it).

put the tray in the oven for about 8-10 minutes until lightly brown. as soon as they are out you need to roll them up. you can wrap them around the handle of a wooden spoon. if you got those fingers that can touch fire then just roll them up with your hands. they need to be rolled when they are still very hot, because as soon as they start to cool they will harden.

then put your marscapone mix into a piping bag and pipe it into the centre.

et voila.

p.s. i also made some chocolate ones. i made it up as i went along so im not too sure what i did…its all a bit of a dark brown chocolatey blur. but i melted 100g of chocolate and a few knobs of butter to make a chocolate gnache. then i simply and gleefully mixed that through the marscapone mix.


actually if i had my time again i would have added equal chocolate to marscapone. it was too subtle a chocolate taste. but after eating a block of it during the journey, that may well have been a good thing