Cocoa Carrot and Earl Grey Cupcakes

Cocoa Carrot and Earl Grey Cupcakes Recipe

Sometimes I'm inspired by a fabulous meal at a restaurant, a dish on tv, or something that a friend whips up. Other times, like today, I find ingredients in front of me that I have to put to use. This recipe definitely falls into the latter category. I was determined to use the shredded carrots that remained from my morning freshly-pressed carrot juice. I decided to combine them with cocoa and Earl Grey tea and make earthy, complex cupcakes.

I think the combination worked beautifully. My husband Lulu loves tea so I wanted to incorporate this ingredient in the sweets. I used it as the icing of mini-cupcakes.

Cooking is an expression of love, so it doesn't matter how elaborate your dish is or how many hours you devote to it, what's really important is the matter in which you prepare it. Put your heart and soul into cooking, and I guarantee you that those who will enjoy the product of your efforts will appreciate it.

Ingredients

Yields: 16 servings

2 whole eggs
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla paste (optional)
10 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1 Earl Grey teabag
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup self rising all-purpose flour
9 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups carrots, see tips
½ cup vegetable oil
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 lemon zest, finely grated


Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the tea: In a saucepan, heat the sour cream at the lowest setting. Add the tea bag', press and squeeze it against the wall of the saucepan with a small spatula to release as much flavor as possible. Let the tea steep for about 3-4 minutes (no more or the tea will release its acidity). Turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature. Reserve ¼ cup for the frosting.

Making the cupcake batter:

Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar until the texture is thicker. Add ½ tablespoon vanilla paste (if using). Stir well. Add the remaining tea-infused sour cream, flours, oil, baking soda, brown sugar, cocoa powder, ginger and salt. Mix until well combined and smooth. Add the carrots.

Frosting:

In a bowl, combine 4 tablespoons each butter, the reserved sour cream and the powdered sugar. Add  lemon zest. Mix well. 

Assembly:

Line 2 12-hole mini muffin pans with mini cupcake liners (or grease each cavity with a bit of oil). Fill the molds with the mixture. 

Bake the mini muffins for 10 minutes at 375°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another  25-30 minutes. 

A knife or a toothpick inserted into a muffin should come out clean. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely.

Cover with the Earl Grey lemon frosting.

Enjoy with an unsweetened hot cup of tea.

Bon appétit!


Tips

I love infusing tea for desserts. It adds earthy tones to the delicate pastry sweets without overwhelming the main cocoa flavor.

I used the carrot shreds from making carrot juice. 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 7, 2014.


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