FCC4: Sharing the Joy of Muffins!

For my second Patisserie course, I was asked to share an “American” recipe. So, I tried looking up what were traditional American recipes and offered to make Pumpkin Pie or Carrot Cake. While Carrot Cake is not exactly American, because it has been around for so long, Cream Cheese Frosting is! Pumpkin Pie is also a first for most French people, but I think it would take too long, baking the pumpkin and then baking the pie, to do in one class. (They do not have canned pumpkin available here.)

I looked up a bunch of recipes and made one up myself, but with much less fat! By browsing through nutritional and vegan websites, I have incorporated a new technique for all of my baking. Using applesauce instead of butter! You could probably use any fruit puree, but apple or prune is recommended. If you too want to use this technique, cut down the cooking time by 25%, and in some cases, cut down the liquids a little to offset any change in texture.

Btw, everyone loved my recipe! So, here it is:

Gateau aux carottes

Ingredients: makes 24 muffins or 1 cake

  • 250g sugar (1 1/4 cup)
  • 220g flour (2 cups)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder (or 1 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda)
  • 6-8 carrots
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120g creme fraiche or sour cream (6 tbsp or 1/2 cup)
  • 240g applesauce (~1 cup)
  • 2 eggs

Frosting

  • 200g fromage blanc or creme fraiche/sour cream (~3/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180g powdered sugar (~1 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Next, shred the carrots. Then, mix the dry and wet ingredients separately. Slowly mix the dry into the wet mixture, in about 3 or 4 batches. Do not overmix. Butter and flour your pan. (I use silicon molds, so it doesn’t usually need buttering/flouring). Pour the mixture into your muffin cups about 2/3 way full and bake for 20 minutes. If baking a cake, cook for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool. The muffins generally tend to feel gooey, but they attain more buoyancy as they cool.

For the frosting, I just eyeball it and taste test! Start with the amount of sour cream you want, and add powdered sugar. If using cream cheese, you may want to add a little milk/butter/sour cream (which ever you want), as it is pretty thick. They do not have cream cheese in France, so a good substitute would be fromage blanc (or Kiri, a spreadable cheese), but I like this frosting with creme fraiche, too. :)

***

Here is another recipe we made that day:

Le Namandier

Ingredients:

  • 200g almond powder (1 cup)
  • 200g sugar (1 cup)
  • 100g melted butter (~1/2 cup)
  • 4 eggs

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour into a pan. Cook for 20 minutes at 200C/400F.

This tasted pretty good, but very similar to a financier in cake form. So, since financiers are petite and less fattening, I will stick with making them for now. To see the recette for financiers, click here.

Bon appetit!

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