Saturday, 31 May 2014

Carrot and Ginger Cupcakes

Another variation on my favourite – and immensely popular – butternut squash muffins. These are dangerously moreish, but at just half a syn (less in fact) each, you can really enjoy a couple without feeling guilty. They don't last very well in the fridge or a cake tin; but they freeze well – I have placed mine in containers with six cakes (without the icing) to take out for as and when we want a little treat, without going overboard.

Makes 36
½ syn each*

* providing you use the oats as your Healthy Extra b and cheese as your Healthy Extra A. Nine cakes constitutes one HexB and HexA.

140g porridge oats
2 tubs fat free thick plain Greek yogurt
100g sultanas
2 tsp baking powder
8 eggs, separated
2-3 tbsps mixed spice
½ – 1 cup of sweetener to taste
1 can sugar free ginger beer
3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
a knob of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
300g cream cheese
sweetener to taste
a few drops of rum essence

First of all, in a small bow, place the sultanas and pour over enough ginger beer to cover. Leave to infuse and swell. Next put the oats in a large bowl and mix in the yogurt and the rest of the ginger beer. If you are using a thinner, runnier yogurt, cut down on the amount of liquid you use.

Leave these mixtures to soak for at least a couple of hours, ideally overnight. Boil the carrots with the ginger and leave to cool. Whizz in a food processor until smooth.

In a large bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg yolks and add the sweetener, mixed spice and baking powder. (Don't do as I did – thinking that I might forget to add the baking powder – I wasn't following a recipe, I was making it up as I went along – I measured it out when I thought of it earlier and just put it on top of the oat mixture for stirring in later. Wrong! By the time I came to stir it in, the baking powder had drawn the moisture from the oat mix and was one hard, white cake. Oops. I managed to break it up by whisking it in with the egg whites, but it was certainly a learning point!)

Stir the egg yolks and carrot mix into the oat mixture, add the sultanas and gently fold in the egg whites, making sure everything is mixed in well. Spoon into well greased muffin cases. I find I like to keep stirring the mixture while I am putting it into the little muffin cases, as the sultanas tend to sink to the bottom fairly quickly.

Bake in the oven at 180°C for 20-30 minutes, until they are cooked through. They should be springy, not fluffy when you touch them gently with your finger, and a skewer inserted should come out clean.

For the icing, mix together the cream cheese, sweetener and rum essence and spread on top of the cakes.


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