Originally, I was planning to use persimmons but, alas, there were none to be had. Switching gears in the store I went with carrots instead; a glad decision as their sweetness and flavor permeated this light and moist carrot cupcake. The mellow-sweet flavors of the roasted cashews support the carrots and add a nice crunch to the cake. The bourbon provides a slight bitter and tangy flavor that helps cut through the sweetness while the cardamom gives it spice and fragrance. With an over-whipped and glossy cream cheese frosting (also spiced with cardamom and bourbon) it is by and far the best carrot cake I have ever had, a sentiment echoed by many of my co-workers. The CEO even asked for the recipe. *insert loud peal of satisfaction*
I am going to tinker with this recipe a bit for something a bit more spring-ish when Easter rolls around.
1 cup of cashews
1 pound of carrots
3 large eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of bourbon
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of vegetable oil
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1) Heat the oven for 350F. Place milk and lemon or lime juice together in a cup and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
2) Toast the cashews in the oven at 350F for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then chop coarsely.
3) Rinse, peel, and grate the carrots.
4) Mix the carrots, milk and juice mixture, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and bourbon together and whisk.
5) In another bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spice together.
6) Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture. Then fold in the cashews.
7) Scoop into cupcake papers and bake for 19-21 minutes at 350. Place on a wire rack to cool.
Spiced Bourbon Frosting
8 ounces of cream cheese
2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom
1 teaspoon of bourbon
Whip the cream cheese for 3 minutes at high speed. Add the bourbon and cardamom and whip another minute. Add the powdered sugar and whip for 5 minutes. Spread onto cooled cupcakes.