Métro, boulot, dodo.
Hello, world. It feels like an eternity has passed since my last post, although in reality its only been a week. Since university started up again a few weeks ago, I’ve been overwhelmed with work and the days have just been flying by. As the saying goes, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’.
So much is happening and I’m desperately trying to wrap my head around it all and retain all the new information I’ve been learning. I decided that this year I was going to develop a comprehensive organisation system, so I’ve been downloading and testing out all sorts of apps to help me improve my time management and study techniques. Better time management = less stress = more time to relax/cook = more blog posts! That’s the plan, anyway. My favourite new discovery so far is the Pomodoro technique, which breaks down study sessions into blocks of 25 minutes, with a 5 minute break in between each block. This is apparently quite a popular technique, and so far I’ve found it to be a very effective way of combatting boredom while studying (although it’s only week three, so I may be counting my chickens before they hatch…).
This weekend, I managed to sneak away from study for long enough to make some delicious carrot cakes, which I’m pleased to be sharing with you today. I really like carrot cake. Of all the vegetable cakes I find carrot to be the least bizarre. Perhaps that’s just because carrot cake is a widely enjoyed food with which I have long been acquainted. Zucchini cakes are becoming more common, but parsnip cake still sounds a little odd to me. Maybe I’ll get used to those, too. I’ll keep you posted.
Anyhow, I’ll spare you from any more of my ramblings and just proceed with the recipe, shall I? The cakes themselves are dairy free, and are delicious on their own. But it you’re a frosting fan, I’d recommend giving the icing a go. Cream cheese icing is the perfect accompaniment to carrot cake, and the addition of the orange rind cuts through the cream cheese really well. Give these a go, and be sure to leave me a little note in the comments and let me know how they turned out.
Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes
1.25 cups gluten-free self-raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup currants (you could also substitute raisins or chopped dried dates)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
1/2 cup (scant) orange juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 160ºC. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Combine flour, sugar, spices, carrots, walnuts and currants in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add egg, orange juice and oil to dry ingredients and beat well to combine. Add chia seeds (if using) and stir though.
- Spoon mixture evenly into cupcake liners and bake for 35 minutes (or until the bottoms of the cupcakes sound hollow when tapped).
- Allow cupcakes to rest in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
1.5 tbsp butter, softened
4 tbsp cream cheese (I used lactose free, but regular is good too)
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp grated orange zest
- In a mixing bowl, beat softened butter until pale. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth and well-combined (I just did this by hand using a spatula, but you can use an electric mixer if you want to).
- Add sifted icing sugar to the cream cheese mixture and beat thoroughly until no traces of sugar remain in the bowl and the frosting is smooth. Stir through orange rind.
- Place a spoonful of frosting onto each cupcake. Using a spatula, spread the frosting around in a circular motion until the surface of the cupcake is evenly covered in cream cheese.
Keeping time: Keeps 3 days. If you live in a warmer climate, keep these in the fridge.