Earlier this week, Justin bought a big bag of special offer carrots… and then, couple of days later, his mum gave us half a bag of her bulk buy special offer carrots. We had a sudden glut!
So this week’s cake baking had to utilise some!
Fortunately we do love a good carrot cake, but decided on a little twist by making some carrot muffins with spiced Quark topping.
Cinnamon and pineapple are the dominant flavours – there’s a hint of ginger in there too.
Quark a fairly unusual ingredient with a taste and consistency somewhere between crème fraîche and cream cheese. We think it worked really well.
The resulting muffins are moist and full of flavour – and just a little bit different.
It’s an easy recipe, so a batch can be knocked up quickly.
They’re a great partner for that afternoon cup of tea we talked about recently.
- 2tbs vegetable oil
- 100g/3½oz plain flour
- 100g/3½oz wholemeal flour
- 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼tsp salt
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- ½tsp ground ginger
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 5tbsp semi-skimmed milk
- 225g/8oz canned pineapple chunks in juice, drained & chopped
- 250g/9oz carrots, grated
- 40g/1½oz sultanas
- 40g/1½oz walnuts, chopped
- 250g/9oz Quark (or any low-fat soft cream cheese)
- 1½tbsp caster sugar
- 1½tsp vanilla essence
- 1½tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5. Oil a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable or line it with muffin paper cases
- Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger into a mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar and mix together
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites then pour the milk and the oil and mix together
- Mash the pineapple chunks, then add to the egg mixture
- Add the carrots, sultanas and walnuts and stir together gently
- Add the fruit mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir together until just combined. Do not over-stir the mixture - it is fine for it to be a little lumpy
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cups in the muffin tin or paper cases (they should be about ⅔s full)
- Transfer to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until risen and golden
- While the muffins are in the oven, make the topping. Put the Quark into a mixing bowl with the caster sugar, vanilla essence and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Mix together well, then cover with clingfilm and transfer to the fridge until ready to use
- When the muffins are cooked, remove them from the oven, put them on a wire rack and leave to cool. When they have cooled to room temperature, remove the topping from the fridge and spread some evenly over the top of each muffin
- Lightly sprinkle over the remaining cinnamon and serve