Tuesday, January 19, 2010

carrot from the garden cupcakes

mm mmm

just finished icing the last of the cupcakes i made this morning. they are vegan and gluten free carrot cupcakes, made with carrots that i pulled from the garden yesterday. this cake is a favorite in my family and was my brother and his wife's wedding cake for their wedding celebration #2 and 3 last year.

i found this recipe on vegweb and i knew it would be good since the title is "incredible vegan carrot cake" and there were almost 100 comments praising it. i changed it a little bit so that it would be gluten free, and also decided to use apple sauce as the egg replacer, and added a bit of lemon zest to the frosting.

here is the recipe:

Incredible Vegan Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

2 cups gluten free flour mix (i used Bob's red mill mix)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown cane sugar
3/4 cup cane sugar
1 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely grated carrots (from the garden!)
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup shredded coconut
nuts and raisins optional (i use 1/2 cup each)

Faux Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8 oz package of vegan cream cheese
1/3 cup vegan soy margarine (like Earth Balance), softened.
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2-3 cups vegan confectioners sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, spices, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, mix sugar and apple sauce until creamy - add vanilla, then add vegetable oil. Mix wet and dry ingredients together and add carrots, pineapple, and coconut. Place cupcake liners in the muffin tin. Spoon in batter til each cupcake liner is 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Be sure to let the cake cool before frosting.

Faux Cream Cheese Frosting recipe:

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and margarine. Add vanilla and zest, then add sugar. Top with candied walnuts, or pipe on some carrots made with icing.

Makes: 30 cupcakes, Preparation time: 25 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes

happy birthday sophie!

Monday, January 18, 2010

it feels like spring! (but its not for 2 more months...)

its 54 degrees (F) today in DC. a perfect day for a stroll in rock creek park, and a great day to dream of spring in the garden.

today i finally harvested the very last of my vegetables from last year-- carrots! they have been in the ground ready to eat for months, and in the fall i had started harvesting a few at a time here and there but i was waiting to do the big harvest later. this way i could have fresh local vegetables when there hardly any around. most of the farmers markets around town closed in November for the season, except Dupont Circle and Takoma Park, which are open every sunday year round. but the options get pretty limited for fresh veggies at the market in the winter, so these carrots i pulled up today are a special treat.

in the twin oaks community garden, pulling the last of the carrots from my plot

over the summer i was trying to figure out when i'm supposed to harvest the carrots. i figured it out mostly by trial and error-- i pulled up one or two early on and they were the size of my pinky, so that was way too soon. i ended up searching online when to harvest and thats when i found that if you cover them up in the fall with leaves and staw, then they will stay warm in the ground so that you can harvest them later in fall or winter.

the tiny carrots i pulled up in the june when it was waaay too soon to harvest

so what to do with my 12 pounds of carrots?!

carrot ginger soup!
carrot cake! (vegan and gluten free)
... with a bunch leftover for snacks and cooking with later.

carrots and my housemate sophie's hummus

recipes and pictures of cake and soup soon to come! (i promise!)