Caramelized Cheesecake Shards

Caramelized Cheesecake Shards

Caramelized Cheesecake Shards are a thing, yes… sort of. Well, I guess I’m the first person doing it, so IF it becomes a “thing” – remember you heard it here first 😉

What are Caramelized Cheesecake Shards?

They are thin discs of cheesecake that have been baked in the oven until they are golden brown around the edges. Think of them as thin cheesecake cookies made from cheesecake batter.

How Did They Originate?

The idea for this creation was a number of factors really.

First of all, I am an artisan baker insisting on using ONLY delicious ingredients as decorations and ZERO FONDANT, buttercream ornaments, modelling chocolate or gum-paste.

Chocolate shavings and nuts make great cake decorations, but you can’t really put them on every single cake.

Doing so makes your menu look a tad monotone eventually, which is why I’m always looking for new, TASTY decoration ideas.

 

There’s an absolutely delectable muffin I’ve been baking for coffee shops in particular for 5 and a half years now – Pumpkin & Cream Cheese Muffins.

This is not a “new” idea, I mean the basic recipe idea has been around for years, BUT I created my own spin on the cream cheese filling. It’s not just made up of cream cheese, but rather a type of cheesecake mixture – without any eggs.

When these muffins bake, this filling tends to ooze out a bit onto the baking tray below. These blobs obviously get exposed to more heat from the oven and the direct contact with the baking tray makes it cook faster and caramelize.

Over time I even started overfilling these muffins “by accident” so that more filling would bake out and I would have more caramelized cheesecake bits to feast on! SO YUMMY!

 

caramelized cheesecake shards | easy cake decorating | delicious cake decorating

 

After about 4 and a half years of full time baking, I decided I want to make a cake full of the stuff that I LOVE.

This included a proper, soft, moist, super flavourful vanilla cake (recipe in resource library) with my ultimate vanilla frosting, salted caramel, a little bit of chocolate ganache and these caramelized cheesecake bits that I just could not get enough of!

I made the cheesecake mixture as usual, except this time I added a bit of egg to help with the post-baked stability. I smeared thin circles of it onto a WELL greased baking tray, baked it until deeply golden around the edges and there it was.

I’m now using these caramelized cheesecake shards as flavourful decorations on 3 different cakes in my home bakery.

I’ve even added sprinkles on top of the cheesecake circles before they go in the oven to create fun fetti caramelized cheesecake shards!

Although they are crisp for the first few hours after baking, they will lose that crunch quite soon. I do not see these shards as a “crunch” element in my bakes, but rather a flavour element. It also doesn’t hurt that they look super cool, right? 😉

Here’s how to make Caramelized Cheesecake Shards!

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Caramelized Cheesecake Shards
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 20 g Egg
  • 120 g Plain, non-aerated Cream Cheese (about 25% fat), COLD
  • ¾ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 30 g Icing Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/356°F.
  2. Beat the egg and cream cheese together in a medium sized bowl till completely smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again till smooth.
  3. Beat in the Icing Sugar and vanilla extract till completely combined. Set aside.
  4. Grease a large baking tray SUPER WELL with non-stick spray. Spread identical-ish blobs of the mixture out fairly thinly (about 2mm thickness) and evenly onto the bottom of the tin.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 175°C/347°F and bake cheesecake mixture for around 30 mins. Keep an eye on it as it can catch and burn quite easily. Rotate the pan halfway through the baking time for more even caramelization.
  6. When the cheesecake shards are half golden brown and half white, they are done baking, remove them from the oven.
  7. Leave them to cool on the tray completely. Slide a knife underneath each disc of caramelized cheesecake to loosen it from the baking tray.
  8. Cut into shards as desired and use to decorate your cakes as desired! It’s so delicious that I even crumble it up between cake layers.

 

Thanks so much for reading! If you give this recipe a go, tag me @philosophyofyum so that I can see your work.

See you again soon

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




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Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies

Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies

Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies

Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies is a recipe that just worked out brilliantly… It’s moments like these when life just feels AWESOME and it’s wonder & beauty just hits you afresh.

So I’m BEYOND excited to share this recipe with you today!

Now you’ve heard it said that “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!But we bakers can go a bit beyond producing a drink, can’t we? 😉

I got a bag of about 50 huge lemons from my friend Lorraine’s farm the other day! They were bright, super juicy, sweet, tart and perfect! After giving lemons away to most of my friends, I was still left with around 35 of them.

Making Lemonade or lemon bars was the obvious choice, but for some reason I just didn’t get excited about either of those ideas.

 

These Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies are fresh, chewy, zesty, zingy, buttery, juicy, hearty and creamy all in one bite – SUPER yum and satisfying! And of course, no fake lemon flavourings in sight.

A flavour combo that came to mind was lemon & poppy seed. Then my mind jumped to these super delicious cupcakes I bake in my home bakery – Poppy Seed & White Chocolate Cupcakes.

I got the recipe for these cupcakes from a friend who has sworn me to secrecy, so I cannot share it with you. BUT the secret ingredient that makes those cupcakes SO GOOD is coconut 😀

Poppy Seed and coconut pairs brilliantly together and if you add something tart on top of that… the YUM factor is just UNREAL…

So my friend, when life hands you lemons, bake Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies!

 

Recipe Introduction

I’ve posted a recipe for Blondies once before on my blog, but those were Salted Caramel Apple Blondies. The apples in the recipe provide enough moisture to keep the blondie’s texture fudgy. Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies are a bit different though.

We don’t really want these guys to be cakey, so adding enough fat and moisture is essential for achieving the ideal blondie texture.

For this reason I add a lot of butter, white chocolate and also cream to the batter 🙂

I was also completely set on NOT USING ANY LEMON ESSENCE/EXTRACT in this recipe, but only FRESH lemons.

Adding fresh lemon juice as is to the batter would result in a very runny batter and I just couldn’t see that scenario playing out well… So I decided to reduce my freshly squeezed lemon juice! The only other thing left to do was to add a small mountain of finely chopped fresh lemon zest.

The kick of bright, zingy lemon comes through BEAUTIFULLY in these lemon poppy seed blondies!

With blondies there is always the concern that they will be too sweet. Brownies & blondies are basically cake with DOUBLE the FAT, double the SUGAR and no raising agents.

The bitterness of dark chocolate and cocoa powder masks the amount of sugar used in brownies, so what is there to absorb the sweetness in blondies?

The lemon zest provides some bitterness and the sharpness of the lemon cuts through a lot of the sweetness. BUT my recipe also uses a bit less sugar than blondies usually do. I’ve replaced some of the sugar with white chocolate and cream – which is not exactly second best, right?

As you know I’m all about FLAVOUR & QUALITY – not just a colossal mountain of sugar, because that’s how it’s “usually done”.

These Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies are fresh, chewy, zesty, zingy, buttery, juicy, hearty and creamy all in one bite – SUPER yum and satisfying! And of course, no fake lemon flavourings in sight.

These Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies are fresh, chewy, zesty, zingy, buttery, juicy, hearty and creamy all in one bite – SUPER yum and satisfying! And of course, no fake lemon flavourings in sight.

Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 100 g Unsalted Butter
  • 100 g Baking Margarine
  • 50 g Cream (about 33% fat)
  • 70 g White Chocolate, super finely chopped
  • 130 g White Sugar
  • 100 g Demerara Sugar/Soft brown sugar
  • 135 g Egg (2 x-large eggs + 1 yolk)
  • ½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest, finely chopped and packed tightly into the spoon
  • 60 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 40 g Poppy Seeds
  • 45 g Desiccated Coconut
  • 200 g All Purpose Flour
  • 5 g Salt
Instructions
  1. Reduce the fresh lemon juice by two thirds on a low simmer. You should end up with 20 ml of reduced lemon juice.
  2. Sift flour and salt in a large bowl, set aside.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180°C/356°F.
  4. Melt butter, margarine and cream in a stand mixer mixing bowl in the microwave for 3 mins. It must boil before you continue.
  5. Stir in sugars and 50 g of the white chocolate. Microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir thoroughly and microwave once more for 30 seconds.
  6. Mix on medium speed with paddle attachment for about 30 seconds. The Sugars should stick to the paddle when you lift it up.
  7. Add eggs, lemon zest, reduced lemon juice, poppy seeds, coconut and vanilla. Stir until roughly combined.
  8. Add dry ingredients. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Beat batter on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  9. Scrape batter into a greased and lined 27 cm x 16 cm (or 8 x 8 inch) pan. Spread mix evenly into all the corners.
  10. Melt the reserved 20 g of finely chopped white chocolate in 30 seconds bursts in the microwave. Pour all over on the surface of the batter. Smear the top of the batter so that the melted chocolate is mixed thoroughly into the top surface of the batter leaving no streaks of chocolate behind – this forms the crust on top.
  11. Bake on top shelf at 180ᵒC for 20 - 25 mins, turning after 13 mins. They are done baking when a toothpick still has a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Do not over-bake these guys!
  12. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and slice as desired.
  13. Enjoy!

 

 

I hope you’ll give these Lemon Poppy Seed Blondies a go! I AM IN LOOOOVE with them!! Which is something I don’t say very often.

Chat soon!

Aurelia

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




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Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts came into being thanks to one of my favourite clients here in Cape Town – Saa-rah Adams 😀

She is so cool! She and her family have ordered pretty much everything on my home bakery menu, TWICE! And sometimes when they order they’ll say the best line a baker wants to hear: “Surprize us!”

I actually baked Pear, Caramel & Hazelnut Cupcakes as a large cake for her, but today I would like to share the cupcake version. I love the cupcake version so much because there is more caramelization during baking which just makes the flavour SENSATIONAL!

Recipe Introduction

My Pear Cupcakes recipe is quite similar to German Apple Cake, in the sense that there’s no additional liquid added to the batter like milk, buttermilk, etc. All the liquid comes from the natural juices inside the fresh fruit.

For this reason the batter is really stiff when you mix it. It is more like something in between a batter and dough. DO NOT ADD ANY EXTRA LIQUID!

I know it is quite difficult to mix, but just take your time and “massage” the fresh pear into the batter with the back of a sturdy metal spoon. I once used a standard stainless steel dessert spoon to mix the pear into the batter and the thing bent over onto itself completely!

Another super important note is to have your cupcake pans ready and lined with cupcake cases BEFORE you mix the pear into the batter. I have a post on making your own cupcake cases as well.

The reason behind this is that the sugar inside the batter starts to draw out the pear’s natural juices very quickly. If these juices are stirred about into the batter, the caramelization of the cupcakes seriously decreases! By about as much as 30% I’d say.

The texture of the crumb is also then just all wrong and the pear pieces inside the batter are less pronounced. Bottom line, DO NOT LET THIS BATTER STAND, but scoop it into the cupcake cases immediately.

Since the batter is stiff, it is a bit more difficult to spoon into cases. Press the pear cupcakes batter in firmly and fill the cases right to the very top! The filled cases should be more or less level with the rims of the cupcake pan.

A Note on Pears

I like to use Bosc Pears. I have used different varieties of pear for this recipe as well with great success. Bosc Pears are just bigger, so there’s less peeling to do! Lol!

Whichever pears you use, just make sure they are NOT SOFT! In other words, they should be slightly under ripe.

Super ripe pears will just disintegrate entirely in this recipe, and you don’t want that. The pear flavour is more pronounced in the pear cupcakes when you bite into plenty little jewels of pear in every bite.

The pear pieces will spend 40 minutes in the oven, so they will end up being soft in the final taste experience.

These Pear Cupcakes are SO SCRUMMY! In one bite you get: crispy, chewy, fresh, smooth, depth and crunch. These Pear Cupcakes are just the quintessence of autumn to me and I absolutely adore them! Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting, salted caramel & hazelnuts - YUM!

What Makes These Pear Cupcakes so Good?

They are SO SCRUMMY! They have a deep and even slightly crispy caramelization on top and a super moist, crazy flavourful interior. Paired with Philosophy of Yum Whipped Cream Cream-Cheese Frosting, salted caramel & Toasted Hazelnuts the YUM factor is taken even further.

In one bite you get: crispy, chewy, fresh, smooth, depth and crunch. These Pear Cupcakes are just the quintessence of autumn to me and I absolutely adore them! And you know I don’t say anything like this very often!

Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 14
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
  2. Line 14 cupcake tin holes with cupcake liners/cases.
  3. In a mixing bowl; beat oil and eggs with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and stir well.
  4. Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon together in a bowl.
  5. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a sturdy metal spoon until well combined. The batter will be very thick.
  6. Add chopped pears to the batter. Press and fold the pears into the batter. The batter will be super thick, BUT DO NOT ADD ANY EXTRA LIQUID!
  7. DO NOT LET THIS BATTER STAND, but scoop it into the cupcake cases immediately. Since the batter is stiff, it is a bit more difficult to spoon into cases. Press the batter in firmly and fill the cases right to the very top! The filled cases should be almost level with the rims of the cupcake pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 35 - 45 minutes or until they have a uniform dark golden colour. I really prefer to leave them in longer so that they caramelize a bit more. The flavour is just sensational! There’s heaps of fresh pear inside the cupcakes, so there’s no danger of them drying out.
  9. Leave cupcakes to cool in the tin.
  10. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost them with Philosophy of Yum Vanilla Frosting, drizzle with Salted Caramel and finish with a generous sprinkle the toasted chopped hazelnuts.
  11. Enjoy! Yummm!

 

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




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How to Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

How to Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

Gluten Free Baking was such a challenging fete a few years ago, but today it’s a totally different story! There are so many gluten free flours available in most grocery stores nowadays.

And with the research of some amazing food bloggers like Art of Gluten Free Baking, Gluten Free on a Shoestring and more, gluten free ANYTHING is possible!

In my own Home Bakery, all my cakes and cupcakes are available in gluten free. This is not because I “saw a gap in the market” or anything, it’s rather because my husband, Adriaan, is highly intolerant to gluten.

I firmly believe that no home baker should try and sell anything they don’t believe in. Not so much because it’s inconsistent, but honestly, it just doesn’t work.

You can market products till you pass out, but if you don’t LOVE your products and really believe in the motivation behind baking them, you will literally not be able to sell them. Not nearly enough of them anyway.

There I go again, throwing in baking business advice. Back to the gluten free chat!

 

Gluten Free, But Also Lazy

The biggest problem I found with gluten free baking when I started exploring it, was that I needed to use a whole new recipe every time I wanted to bake something gluten free.

In other words, I couldn’t just use my favourite Carrot Cupcake Recipe, I had to go search for a gluten free carrot cupcake recipe – and even then there was no guarantee that the recipe would be up to scratch.

Having a Home Bakery is quite a high paced job, so I mostly memorize my recipes so that my baking process is much faster. The idea of memorizing DOUBLE the recipes because of a whole gluten free repertoire was just WAY too exhausting to even consider!!

I’ve quoted my wise (and unconventional) dad on this before in my How to Freeze Crème Pat post, but he always said:

“If you want to be lazy, you have to be clever!”

There simply had to be a gluten free flour blend you can sub into ANY regular cake or cupcake recipes.

On top of that, MANY gluten free cake recipes are severely annoying. They ask for these crazy ingredients which I’ve never seen before in my life and still have not found in any supermarket or health food store in my area.

Things like Ultratex, Expandex and Whey Protein Isolate… What?! Or should I say “Gezuntheid”?

I’ve been on a mission to find something that could be made with ingredients that are available to me and can easily be mixed with no special equipment or effort.

So I came up with my own gluten free cake flour blend that has changed everything for my husband! I also started using this gluten free cake flour in my own bakery for all gluten free cakes and cupcakes. The POY gluten free flour blend yields such a soft and tender crumb!

And I love that I can find ALL of these ingredients in my closest health store/supermarket!

This gluten free flour can be substituted gram for gram in ANY cake and cupcake recipe!

I mix 1 kg of flour in a little sealed bucket and keep it in my cupboard to whip out whenever I need it. You are welcome to halve or quarter the recipe if you need to. I go by grams because the accuracy is just better when it comes to dry ingredients.

 

Not All Cake Recipes Are Created Equal

The worst mistake we can make as bakers is to assume that all cake and cupcake recipes should be treated the same way. I did a thorough post on Baking Perfect Cupcakes a while back where I also stress this fact.

Butter based recipes respond completely different to mixing than oil based recipes. Butter based cake/cupcake recipes can be overmixed so much faster than oil based recipes and this is amplified severely when you use gluten free flour.

 

Subbing With POY Gluten Free Flour Blend

I love to use my own gluten free flour blend that works PERFECTLY in all cake and cupcake recipes.

And here’s a super important tip for the subbing process: Go By Weight and Not Volume!

I never, ever, EEEEVERRRR use cup measurements for dry ingredients. EVER. Wet ingredients, absolutely, but not dry ingredients. The reason why is because cup measurements leave way too much room for error. A loosely poured cup of flour weighs about 150 g, but a scooped cup of flour can weigh up to 190 g!

If a recipe does not provide weight measurements, I like to assume I should use 170 g per cup which is in the middle. This has always worked for me 🙂

 

Mixing Technique for Butter Based Recipes

Cream your butter and sugar as you normally would. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract as you normally would.

When you add the gluten free flour (remember to use exactly the same weight as regular cake flour the recipe calls for) and milk/buttermilk, be careful how you stir and how much you stir.

Gluten free flour in butter based batters, gets overmixed really quickly. Overmixed gluten free cake batter will feel very stiff when you stir it and will result in small and tough cupcakes once baked.

For this reason, I incorporate my gluten free flour and milk/buttermilk on the slowest stir speed with my hand mixer – not with a stand mixer – for about 10 seconds which gives me more control and eliminates the danger of overmixing. If your hand mixer does not have a super slow stir speed, stir super gently, by hand, with a balloon whisk.

When I can’t see any more flour, I then go in with my rubber spatula. Use the spatula to scrape and fold all the eggy butter at the bottom of the bowl into the thicker batter on top. Keep folding gently and scraping the bowl till the batter looks uniform in texture.

Then you may proceed to fill your cupcake liners or cake pans. You can read more about perfect batter distributing techniques in my post Baking Perfect Cupcakes – Advanced Tips 🙂

Just remember to NEVER stir a butter based gluten free batter vigorously.

There are some butter based recipes out there that instruct you to beat the batter after the flour has been added. This is often done to give the cake’s texture a little bit more density and some chewiness. BUT, ignore this is you sub gluten free flour into the recipe. It just flops entirely and you end up with gluten free bricks that no one wants to eat.

Mixing Technique for Oil Based Recipes

Great news is that oil based batters are WAY more forgiving! Score! Whether you are mixing carrot cake, chocolate cake or red velvet cake, you don’t need to be as careful as you are with butter based gluten free batters.

This being said, I still wouldn’t mix it a lot unless the recipe states that you should do so. My Chocolate Cupcake Recipe, for example, requires you to mix the batter on medium speed for 2 minutes before adding boiling water. Since this is an oil based recipe, I do beat the batter for the required time even when I sub gluten free flour and they turn out great!

 

Baking Technique

When you sub POY Gluten Free Flour blend in a regular recipe, please note that your goods will bake a lot faster than when you use regular flour. It's hard to say how much faster because it all depends on your oven. For me it's usually about 10%-15% faster. Rather start testing your cake or cupcakes sooner to avoid overbaking.

 

Subbing Beyond Cakes & Cupcakes

In our home we like to use this gluten free flour blend in Shortcrust Pastry, Cheesecake Pastry and Fresh Pasta too! It produces a gluten free pasta we can even roll out in our pasta machine – so rad!

Important note: This flour recipe is not ideal for making bread or brownies, but I do have an Ultimate Gluten Free Brownie Recipe 🙂

If you have any more questions on substituting gluten free flour in regular cake/cupcake recipes, please comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them 🙂

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




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Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes

The ultimate carrot cupcakes are not simply a carrot cake recipe poured into cupcake liners. It’s much more sensitive and complex than that for several reasons.

When you use a regular carrot cake recipe to bake cupcakes, the texture typically ends up being too dense for a cupcake.

Another problem is that cupcakes bake for a shorter period of time than a large cake, so that deep caramelization flavour is lost. Which is definitely not okay! That caramelised, slightly chewy top is the BEST part.

 

Flavour Comes First

When I speak of Carrot Cake, I’m NOT talking about those “carrot cakes” that are basically just a vanilla sponge with shredded carrot inside. That is not proper Carrot Cake. It is carrot flavoured Vanilla Cake. If it were a song, it would be “itsy bitsy spider”.

Proper Carrot Cake is much deeper and darker, with such a dynamic flavour and texture. If it were a song, it would be “O sole Mio”. EPIC. Unique. Gutsy. Excellence. (And yes, I’m listening to O sole mio as I write this post 🙂 There’s an AMAZING version where Pavarotti sings it with Bryan Adams – so stunning!)

This ultimate carrot cupcakes recipe is made with golden syrup, dark brown sugar and molasses, so it is absolutely brimming with caramel-ly depth!

The Texture

When I eat carrot cake as a slice of cake, the texture should absolutely be a bit denser than a sponge cake.

However, when I eat carrot cake in cupcake form it has to be just as moist and flavourful, BUT also LIGHT. Heavy cupcakes are just not pleasant…

So this recipe perfectly captures ALL the stunning texture of regular carrot cake, but also with a light, tender and super moist crumb – as a cupcake should be.

The way you prepare the carrots for your ultimate carrot cupcakes is key. Do not shred/grate them too finely. If you grate them too fine, they will just disappear into the batter and be less prominent in the final flavour experience.

Another reason to not grate the carrots too fine is because it leaves more surface area for the batter to react with the carrots. The batter contains sugar and salt which draws the moisture out of the carrots.

So IF you grate the carrots too fine, they react with the batter much faster, drawing moisture out of the carrots much faster and leaving you with a very runny batter in a matter of minutes.

This makes all your lovely raisins, pineapple etc. sink to the bottom when baking. So to avoid this, rather grate your carrots coarser.

 

As for all the extras beyond carrots, I like to use raisins, crushed pineapple plus toasted pecans.

I know that walnuts are more traditional in carrot cake, but the toasted pecans completely outshine walnuts in this instance.

The ultimate Carrot Cupcakes: Light, moist, deep flavour. With perfect cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans. SUPER YUM!

The Frosting

As you may know by now, I make no secret of my disdain for traditional buttercream and even cream cheese frosting as well, because they are TOO SWEET.

Frosting is supposed to CONTRIBUTE to the flavour experience, not just round off the visual presentation of cupcakes.

Philosophy of Yum Cream Cheese Frosting is balanced and DELICIOUS and it pairs perfectly with these ultimate carrot cupcakes 🙂

It’s made with cream, cream cheese, vanilla and 75% less sugar than traditional cream cheese frosting. The frosting is super light and pipes beautifully as well.

These are seriously the Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes. Deep, gutsy, EPIC flavour, but with a light, moist and tender crumb. Topped with the best cream cheese frosting ever and toasted pecan nuts. SO YUM!

So here we go – my recipe for the Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes!

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 15
Ingredients
  • 230 g Flour
  • ¾ tsp Baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ Tbsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 130 g Eggs
  • ½ T Vanilla Extract
  • 65 g White Granulated Sugar
  • 100 g Demerara Sugar
  • 130 g Canola Oil
  • 70 g Golden Syrup
  • 15 g Molasses
  • 40 g raisins
  • 270 g grated Carrots
  • 100 g Crushed Pineapple, scooped with juice
  • 100 g Toasted Pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, place the eggs, oil, vanilla, white sugar, demerara sugar, golden syrup and molasses. Whisk together with a hand mixer on high speed for 90 seconds. It should be pale and almost doubled in volume.
  4. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a large metal spoon.
  5. Add the grated carrot, raisins and crushed pineapple to the bowl and fold in. Be sure to mix everything together thoroughly as the fresh carrot can often hide together in little huddles in the batter.
  6. Proceed to fill the lined cupcake tins immediately. Do not let the batter stand. Divide the batter evenly between 15 lined cupcake tin holes. I like to first fill each liner halfway, stir the remaining batter again, and then fill the liners the rest of the way so that the first 5 cupcakes don't get all the extra bits and the last few cupcakes just get batter with no raisins, pineapple, etc.
  7. Bake at 180ᵒC/356°F for about 25 mins, rotating the tins halfway through baking. The cupcakes should be a deep golden brown. Also test the cupcakes with a toothpick – if the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.
  8. Leave to cool in the tins. Once completely cold, remove from tins.
  9. Make Philosophy of Yum Cream Cheese Frosting. Pipe onto cupcakes as desired and sprinkle the remainder of the chopped pecans generously on top. Enjoy!

 

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram @philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




POPULAR RECIPES

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Yummiest Frosting on the planet! It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness.
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Smoky Chocolate & Bran Muffins

Smoky Chocolate & Bran Muffins

Smoky Chocolate & Bran Muffins

Some recipes come to bakers like a flash of lightning, other recipes are inspired by great ingredients and then there is the third category which is a bit weird… You get this idea, or really only half an idea. And then it takes months and sometimes even a year before the other half comes to you.

The recipe for these smoky chocolate & bran muffins definitely falls into the third category of recipe development!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may know that I have a super sentimental soft spot for muffins because my Mom made them for us when we were kids. And her bran muffins were just to die for…

But on the other hand, a decadent breakfast muffin REALLY gets me excited to leap out of bed I the morning.

Problem is that most decadent muffins tend to basically be CAKE though, right? By this I mean that they have ZERO fibre and contain heaps of sugar. This is not a good start to anyone’s day… you’ll be paying back later, if you know what I mean 😉

So yes, I have a very firm stance on including fruit and fibre into every single one of my muffin recipes. And equally important is the element of decadence and absolute, overall YUMness!

Either “healthy” OR “decadent” is just an unnecessary myth. It’s completely possible to incorporate BOTH.

Smoky Chocolate & Bran Muffins! Super moist buttermilk & molasses bran muffin with a chocolate custard center and a dash of smoked paprika - YUM!!

Recipe Development

I’ve experimented with heaps of different muffins, but my favourite to date is still the Philosophy of Yum take on the Pumpkin & Cream Cheese muffin. What’s so rad about this muffin is that it has a cream cheese custard-like filling that is just divine!

I have a secret to share with you though… that creamy filling is actually my Home Bakery’s signature Vanilla Frosting! Now I know you may be thinking: Frosting = sweet, but that’s not the case because my vanilla frosting is completely unique. It packs heaps of flavour, but 75% less sugar than traditional frosting.

So what started out as an opportunity to use my left over frosting, became the most popular muffin in my Home Bakery!

There’s also a chocolate version of my ultimate frosting recipe, so I’ve been thinking about also using it as a filling in a muffin – as I do with Pumpkin & Cream Cheese Muffins.

Every bakery kind of also HAS to have a chocolate muffin and it’s been nagging me for quite a while. I couldn’t, however, just make an over sized chocolate cupcake and call it a muffin though – as I said, breakfast needs to include fibre just as much as it needs to include epic flavour.

What’s so amazing about combining chocolate & bran in muffins is the depth of flavour you achieve. They seriously compliment each other SO WELL!

The base recipe of Smoky Chocolate & Bran Muffins is my Ultimate Bran Muffin recipe. It’s made with buttermilk and molasses so the muffins are soft, moist and have a rich, earthy caramel flavour.

You my notice that there’s no egg in this recipe. Honestly, I just forgot the egg. But the mashed banana functions a bit like egg in the recipe so that’s why the texture was still perfectly fluffy and awesome.

Also, don’t worry at all about tasting the banana. It blends in completely and you don’t taste it at all!

The creamy chocolate custard-like filling is of course my chocolate frosting recipe (frozen overnight). To add some extra chocolaty goodness, I drizzled some Dark Chocolate Ganache over the top and then comes the curveball…

Smoked Paprika.

Yep, I know it might sound bizarre and a bit crazy – but it WORKS!

It’s not hot or spicy at all! Promise. I’m such a pansy when it comes to hot food, so you are totally safe. All the smoked paprika does is to add a smoky flavour and of course that gorgeous pop of colour!

smoky chocolate & bran muffins - absolutely sensational flavour! You've never had a muffin like this before!


If you are, however, into hot & spicy food, you can sprinkle some dried chili flakes
on top as well. Chili and chocolate pair together great as well, so go for it!

These Smoky Chocolate & Bran Muffins are super moist, soft and deeeeply flavourful! Buttermilk, molasses bran muffins with a dark chocolate & cream cheese custard-like center and a hint of smoked paprika. SO GOOD!!

So here’s my weird, but SUPER delicious recipe for Smoky Chocolate & Bran Muffins 🙂

Smoky Chocolate & Bran Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
FOR THE FILLING:
  • 30 g Whipping Cream with ½ tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 40 g Dark Chocolate (at least 65% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 80 g Cold Whipping Cream, ±35% fat
  • 200 g Cold Medium Fat Cream Cheese (smooth, non-aerated) ±25% fat
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 70 g Pure Icing Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (Good quality)
  • Cold Water
FOR THE MUFFINS:
  • 125 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 60 g Granulated White Sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 t Vanilla Extract
  • 90 g sweet molasses
  • 1 ripe banana (90 g flesh), mashed
  • 200 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup bran (47 g)
FOR THE GARNISH:
  • 60 g Dark Chocolate (at least 65% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 60 g Whipping Cream, ±35% fat with ½ tsp Granulated Sugar
  • Smoked Paprika
Instructions
FOR THE FILLING:
  1. First make some chocolate ganache. Place chopped chocolate in a ceramic or glass bowl.
  2. Place 30 g cream and ½ tsp sugar in a saucepan and heat till simmering. Add hot cream to chopped dark chocolate. Stir well until fully combined and glossy. Transfer to the fridge to cool down for about 5 minutes.
  3. Next make the frosting. Whip cold cream to stiff peaks with an electric hand mixer in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Beat in cold Cream Cheese till smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again till smooth and thickened. About 1 minute.
  5. Beat in Vanilla and icing sugar. Leave to stand for 2 minutes to that sugar can melt into the cream cheese.
  6. Beat again till smooth and thick – about 1 minute. Rub a bit of the frosting between your fingers to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. If it is not fully dissolved, leave to stand for another minute, beat it and then test it again.
  7. Sift the cocoa powder into the mixture and beat to combine. Beat in the cooled chocolate ganache till the frosting is uniform in colour.
  8. Freeze the chocolate filling overnight.
FOR THE MUFFINS:
  1. The next day, make the muffins. Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F.
  2. Lightly spray the top surface of a muffin tin. Line 12 holes of the muffin tin with muffin liners/wrappers.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the buttermilk, vanilla, mashed banana and molasses. At this point the mixture might look a bit curdled and messy, it’s completely normal.
  5. Get a separate, large bowl. Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt. Stir in the bran.
  6. Make a well in the centre of you dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the well. Stir the batter with a metal spoon until it is just combined (the batter will be slightly lumpy.)
  7. Divide the batter evenly into the 12 lined muffin holes. Spoon roughly 30 g of the Frozen Chocolate Filling into the center of each muffin and smooth out the batter so it completely covers the filling.
  8. Bake the muffins in the center of the oven ON THE REGULAT BAKE SETTING for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a skewer tests clean. Leave to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes.
  9. Place the muffins on a rack and let them cool for 15 minutes more.
FOR THE GARNISH:
  1. Place chopped chocolate in a ceramic or glass bowl.
  2. Place 30 g cream and ½ tsp sugar in a saucepan and heat till simmering. Add hot cream to chopped dark chocolate. Stir well until fully combined and glossy.
  3. Drizzle generously over the cooled muffins.
  4. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with smoked paprika. Enjoy!!

 

I have some more amazing muffin recipes if you want to check them out:

Pear, Apple & Bluebrery
Apple, Date & Pecan
Pumpkin & Cream Cheese
Cranberry & Coconut
Ultimate Bran

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram @philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan
Home Baker empowering
HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential
& MAKE A LIVING from
Home Baking
!




POPULAR RECIPES

Top secret recipe for CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES! Super moist, creamy, soft and chocolaty! Absolutely divine...
Yummiest Frosting on the planet! It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness.
chocolate swirl cheesecake | chocolate cheesecake recipe | baked cheesecake recipe

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