We used to be afraid of baking. Big time. Making cakes for friends was an insurmountable task. And one made more confusing by the ease with which it came to others. “What’s wrong with us?” we’d ask ourselves, while guiltily gorging on bakery-bought eclairs. “Why can’t we bake?”
The answer was a lack of confidence. We were afraid. There seemed to be an awful lot of ingredients and a hell of a lot of things that could go wrong when it came to sponges and cupcakes.
With practice, however, we started to see patterns. Patterns like mixing the dry ingredients together, then mixing the wet ingredients together and then mixing those two entities together to make the base of your buns. The more we calmed down, the better our buns became.
Now, when it comes to baking, you still need your measurements. And, unless you’re a yeast whisperer like Dan Lepard, you most certainly need a recipe, which you’ll find below. But we hope this forkful highlights the simplicity of baking. Get your ingredients measured and ready. Mix them together. Distribute them into their baking receptacle. Bake them. Cool. And eat.
what you need for a forkful of carrot cupcakes
100g wholemeal flour
100g plain or self-raising flour
175g light brown muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
Generous handful of raisins (totally optional – some people think raisins are gross but we declare they work beautifully in these buns)
2 free-range eggs
150ml sunflower oil
200g carrots, finely grated
Zest of 1 orange
Cream Cheese Icing
About 200g of soft cheese
100g icing sugar, sifted
Handful of pecans
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and raisins.
In another large bowl or mixing jug, whisk together the eggs and oil. Add the orange zest and finely grated carrots.
Now stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well blended and moist.
Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before icing.
For the icing, mix the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Feel free to add more icing sugar or cream cheese until you get to a consistency you find most droolsome.
Once the cupcakes are cool, slather them with cream cheese icing. Finely chop the pecans and sprinkle over the top.
You can do this. And the more you practice, the better your buns will be.
Thanks to MMOTHS for the use of his track Heart.