A friend of mine had asked me for a favour. He needed to do a cake for his friend's birthday. After some discussion, I recommended that we do a batch of carrot cupcakes, using my trusty Rachel Allen's Carrot Cake recipe which never fails to yield the most tender, fluffy and flavourful cupcakes.
According to him, these carrot cupcakes were sweeter and not as spicy as compared to the ones found in Cedele. From my recent maiden experience with Cedele's carrot cake, I found that Cedele's carrot cake is actually less spicy in taste, making me wonder if there is actually something wrong with his tastebuds or if the problem lies with mine. I could only sense a faint hint of cinnamon in Cedele's version. For Rachel Allens's carrot cake, it uses ground nutmeg and mixed spice in addition to cinnamon. I also believe that Cedele's carrot cakes are baked using white sugar whereas these carrot cupcakes are baked using brown sugar, hence the colour disparity between the two.
Frosting wise, Cedele's cream cheese frosting is purely vanilla flavoured and has a firm cheesecake-like texture. On the other hand, Rachel Allen's cream cheese frosting has a vibrant character due to the marriage of flavours attributed by vanilla and orange zest and the texture is smooth and less firm (because I cut down on icing sugar).
While doing the cream cheese frosting, I noticed that different brands of cream cheese do play a part in determining the texture. Using Elle & Vire cream cheese, the frosting turned out to be fluffier, softer, smoother and it was a breeze piping swirls with it on the cupcakes. Phoon Huat's cream cheese seemed to produce a firmer frosting frosting which is less smooth and did not look like it will pipe well into swirls.
Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting ( recipe adapted from Bake by Rachel Allen)
Taste and Texture: Moderately-spicy, moist, fluffy and chunky with moist plump raisins and crunchy walnuts.
Serving size: about 10 cupcakes
Making the carrot cupcakes:
Baking the cupcakes - Follow the recipe and directions in Carrot Cake. Instead of baking the batter in a loaf tin, spoon the batter into a standard muffin tin lined with cupcake liners. Bake the cupcakes at 180 degrees C for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
Decorating the cupakes - Spoon cream cheese frosting into a piping bag attached with a large star tip. Pipe swirls of cream cheese frosting onto the cupcakes in a circular fashion to create rosettes.