Cream cheese frosting has become a nemesis of mine, along with chocolate chip cookies, I feel the intense desire to conquer and perfect it. It just never gets as thick as I want it, and this annoys me more deeply than when you spend time peeling a satsuma only to find it is as bitter as bitter can be (this is one of the more upsetting things in life).
And so, to practice the creation of the perfect cream cheese frosting I commenced to make two cupcakes that required this topping to take to a team meeting...ginger & carrot and red velvet. I think that I can be happy with my results, on the carrot cupcakes I spread the topping so the thickness was not too much of a necessity but I piped it on the red velvet ones and it did stay in a nice little pile, so this was truly pleasing.
For the carrot and ginger cupcakes I adapted a recipe from chockylit, I did not use fresh or candied ginger, but instead used stem ginger (in syrup) which I absolutley love and think has the same, if not more, intensity of fresh and the sweetness of the candied. It worked very very well so if you can get this I would recommend trying it...someone at work said 'mmmm, these are great, i love garlic'...which was confusing, but I decided to just smile and take it as a compliment rather than just some informatin about his dietary habits.
Ingredients - makes 30 cupcakes
1 cup pecans, toasted
1lb carrots, grated
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups caster sugar (I used golden caster sugar as this is yummier)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped stem ginger
3 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 rsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Toast the pecans, 5mins at 180C, then chop them roughly once cooled (heh, roughly chop them - good old english language...images of you hacking and insulting the pecans run through my mind)
2. In a large bowl combine the grated carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil and ginger
3. In another bowl sift and mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbionate of soda, salt and cinnamon
4. Fold the dry mix into the carrot mix until incorportated, then fold in the pecans
5. Fill cupcake cases 2/3rds full
6. Bake for about 20 minutes, then remove and cool in the pan before removing to a rack for frosting
7. Frost with cream cheese frosting