Carrot Cupcakes With Brazilian Nuts And Indian Alphonso Mango Whipped Cream

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Tomorrow is Halloween, Boo Hoooo! My kids are so waiting for this every year! They love to dress up and go Trick or Treat. Me? Not so much. Way too many sweets……

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I made carrot cupcakes for this occasion. I use my same recipe to bake this which you can find in my archive, but this time I didn’t put Pecan nuts, but Brazilian nuts for a change.

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To make the frosting I whipped the double cream and slowly I add few spoons of liquid Alphonso Mango coulis to it.

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The cupcake toppings are NOT edible 🙂 They are plastic sculls, but if I would have a silicone scull mould I would have made few myself.

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The cupcake wrappers are once again made by me from cardboard paper.

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Pecan and Chocolate Cupcakes With Spicy-Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting

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I made one of my favourite recipe this weekend: cupcakes with lots of crunchy pecan nuts and milk chocolate chips generously frosted with cream cheese icing full with finely chopped pecan nuts and spices. Without exaggeration, they were all gone in an hour, they didn’t even cool down completely 🙂 The kids and my husband just came home from the park when I finished them and they could not resist it. And me neither, of course!

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Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
200 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
5 tbsp walnuts (chopped)
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
100 g chocolate (chopped)
Frosting cream:
250 g Mascarpone, soft cream-cheese
5 tbsp powder sugar (icing sugar)
300 ml milk
40 g custard powder
300 ml double cream
1 tsp Schwartz Mixed Spice (optional but it definitely gives an exclusive character to the cream)
3 tbsp finely chopped walnuts (using an electric grinder)
salt
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line your cupcake tin with the cupcake cases and put it aside.
2.Stir the flour, salt and baking powder together and set aside.
3.Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and cream together until you get a smooth mixture. Add the honey and chopped walnuts, give it a stir then add the flour and the milk and mix it but only until everything is combined. Finally stir in the chocolate.
I used milk chocolate, but you can use dark chocolate if you like, and also ready made chocolate chips will do.
Before chopping the walnuts I put them on a baking tray and roast it for about 10 minutes. When cooled, chop the walnuts in pieces with a knife. It’s up to you how small or big you chop them, I like them at the size of the chocolate chips so it’s crunchy after baking.
4.Scoop the batter into the cupcake cases, filling only 3/4 way up. Bake for around 20 minutes. Don’t open your oven in the first 10 minutes, but after that you can turn the baking tray if necessary. When they’re done, let them cool for about 5 minutes in the baking tin before taking out on a cooling rack. Let them cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting cream, you have to prepare a thick custard cream and let it cool completely.
So, stir the 40 g (must be about 2 tbsp) of custard powder with 3 tbsp of icing sugar, add 300 ml of milk and bring it to boil until you get a thick custard cream. Let it cool completely.
In a mixing bowl cream together the Mascarpone cream cheese and 2 tbsp of icing sugar, add the fine walnuts and the cold custard cream gradually. Gradually pour the double cream and beat with the cream cheese. This will make it softer and lighter. In the end stir in about 1 tsp of Mixed Spice and a pinch of salt, it only makes it better!
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The cupcake wrappers are handmade by me. The toppings are not, I got them from Hobby Craft. I thought they look pretty for this season. Lately I don’t have time to make fondant toppers, my baby girl does not allow me time for this, so I take the easy way and use alternatives where possible.
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Celebration Cake for the Preschool Leavers in July 2014

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Finally I can post this cake, because unfortunately these photos were trapped on my computer and didn’t have access to them before. Now my computer is fixed and back from the service and all is good again.

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So, I made this cake as a thank you from me to the staff of Bar Hill Preschool in July for the leavers party. My son was amongst them 🙂 This cake was shared on the party so all the kids and their families could have a little bite.

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I made a white sponge filled with mascarpone cream cheese and fresh strawberries….or so I remember. I hope I remember correctly, as it seems ages ago… 🙂
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I covered with red fondant and I also reproduced the Preschool Logo, which is the standing teachers and 7 kids between them. Everything looked ok except for the red fondant. It started sweating shortly after I finished and it looked horrible. I think, no, I KNOW that I will never make a red cake again. Ever! There is something wrong with red fondant, and I will not take the chance ever again! People kept saying it looks beautiful, but all I could see was a total disaster. For me this did not came up to my standards, not even close, but there was nothing I could do to fix it. Oh, and by the way my oven just broke down 2 days before baking this, so I had to go bake at my friend’s house and use her oven, which for me did not turn out well either. You have to get used with on oven, but I had no time because I made a promise and I was determined to keep it. All and all I have to say this cake was one of the unluckiest creations I made in a long time 🙂
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