I wanted to take a break from my current Thailand postings to bring you a recipe that I created for this month's Royal Foodie Joust. The RFJ, for those of you who don't know is in my opinion, the web's most friendliest cooking competition. Run by the lovely Jenn from the Leftover Queen it allows bloggers to sign up and put their creative culinary caps on, to invent a dish using three ingredients. If you haven't already joined, please head on over there and do so immediately! The ingredients are chosen by the previous month's winner and this month we were presented with apples, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. As usual, I found myself thinking up all sorts of creations and in the end I decided to make these healthy-ish mini cakes/muffins.
In their simplest form these are basically mini carrot cakes. What I did was grate an apple into the mixture and add the cayenne pepper to the "spice mix" which also included nutmeg, cinnamon and ground cloves. I utilised the maple syrup by making a buttercream frosting that went on top. I tried doing "fancy swirls" but unfortunately the pastry chef in me wasn't feeling it, so I simply spread the buttercream on top in a "rustic manner"...ahem! If you take away the frosting the rest of the cake itself is very healthy. I found the apples added an extra sweetness and I also used a little olive oil, Greek yoghurt and a combination of wholemeal flours and almond meal. Basically stuff I had lying around the pantry. If you plan on making these make sure you end up with a wet mixture and keep your oven at an even 170 deg C.
*Depending on your muffin pan you may end up anywhere between 8-12 of these. I used a thin one (I bought it at IKEA)*
For the cakes-Part 1
- 1 cup of wholemeal flour
- 1/2 a cup of plain flour
- 1/2 a cup of almond meal
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 a cup of soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp of ground cloves
- 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
- 1 grated carrot
- 1 grated apple
- 1 cup of raisins or sultanas that have been softened in some boiling water
- 1 cup of low fat milk
- 1/2 a cup of Greek yoghurt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- a splash of vanilla extract
(mix these together in a separate large jug or bowl)
For the maple buttercream frosting
- 125 grams of softened, unsalted butter
- 1 cup of pure icing sugar, sifted
- 4-5 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
- 1-2 tablespoons of milk
- In a large bowl, mix the ingredients form part one of the recipe quite thoroughly.
- Add the wet ingredients from part two and mix until just combined.
- Spoon the cake mixture into a pre greased muffin pan and bake in a 170 deg C oven for about 20 mins or until a skewer inserted through them comes out clean.
- Once cooked invert them onto a cake cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
- For the maple buttercream frosting-using a mixer, cream the butter until it becomes completely soft and gradually add your icing sugar and maple syrup until well combined. Add your milk and allow the mixture to become soft and creamy. This can take anywhere up to 10 mins depending on the amount of butter used.
- Spread the buttercream onto the cooled cakes and serve.