Sunday, 18 March 2012

Don't Call Me Cup-Cake!

Tortine di Ricotta, Mirtilli Rossi, Carote, Cocco e Granatina
Cranberry, Carrot, Coconut & Grenadine Cup Cakes

Sunday morning, breakfast time and "The Man Who Could Not Bake" is in the mood for something sweet and fluffy. You could say that I would find myself in a difficult situation... but "Ha!" I would reply, "Not I!". No, on the contrary, a challenge is often the most important ingredient putting together something tasty in the kitchen.

So armed basically with the knowledge of how to put together a pancake and little more, I set about creating these little high-rise pancakes- which really is all they are. But they were soooo good! What do you think? Do you think you might like one of these? Or two? Or more?

Ok, you need to prepare a couple of things to get these beauties made. The first thing is the carrot, which needs to be grated finely- I used one small carrot to make 8 cakes. Next, you need to separate 2 eggs. Let's start with the egg yolk and add 2 tablespoons of cheese curds or whichever kind of cream cheese you prefer. I used a very low fat version for my little cakes and it worked fine- it is all a matter of taste. I wanted to make them low-fat and no-sugar... and it is possible! 

I added a little stevia to the egg and cheese, some vanilla and a little cinnamon. I whipped it at a high speed for 2-3 minutes and then stopped to add a couple more ingredients. I added 2 tablespoons of grated coconut, the grated carrot and one tablespoon of flour, along with 1 teaspoon of baking powder to help these little cakes along. Remember- I don't know how to bake! Haha! - but this is what I did and it worked out fine. Another minute of whisking to bring everything together and I was good to move on to the egg whites...

I whisked the egg whites up into a firm, fluffy snow, remembering to add a pinch of salt to give it stability and stop it from collapsing too soon. I also used stevia to sweeten the egg whites- of course you can use sugar- but that would be another story. I added the stevia little by little and kept tasting it until it was right for me- remember- this stuff does taste MUCH sweeter than sugar- so you will need much less- and until I have garnered more experience in using it, all I can say is that it is a matter of trial and error until you get the results that you like. But let's move on for now...

Carefully, I added the stiffly beaten egg whites, spoon by spoon into the flavored batter, stirring it in gently with a whisk so as to not lose the fluffy consistency. I then poured the mix into cup-cake cases to a little past the half-way mark and dropped a good sprinkle of dried cranberries on top. Of course they sink down some, but I have the feeling that they do not all end up immediately at the bottom of the cakes this way.

I put them into a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 20 minutes and grabbed my bottle of grenadine at that point, so that I would be ready to add the finishing touch. I took the cakes out and swiftly trickled each cake with a little grenadine and then popped them back into the oven for a further 5-10 minutes. The sweet syrup seeps in slightly, glazes nicely and simply elevates the flavor of the other ingredients in the most wonderful way! Try it- you'll like it! But you will have to wait for a few minutes for them to cool down a little!