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    Carrot & maple caramel cupcakes

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    Carrot & maple caramel cupcakes

    By Martha Collison

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes + cooling
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes to 25 minutes
    • Total time: 45-50 minutes + cooling

    Makes: 12

    Ingredients

    100g dark brown soft sugar
    100g golden caster sugar
    2 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Eggs
    200ml sunflower oil
    200g plain flour
    ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    ¾ tsp baking powder
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    ½ tsp ground ginger
    ½ tsp salt
    200g carrots, peeled and grated

    For the maple caramel
    240ml No.1 Canadian Maple Syrup No.1 Medium
    2 tsp butter
    2 tbsp double cream

    For the topping
    100g soft cheese
    30g unsalted butter, softened
    200g icing sugar
    50g walnuts, chopped

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases.

    2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugars, eggs and oil until smooth. Slowly beat in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt until combined.

    3. Stir in the grated carrots until evenly dispersed through the mixture. Pour into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then leave to cool fully on a wire rack before icing.

    4. While the cakes are baking, make the maple caramel. Pour the maple syrup into a medium-sized saucepan (it will bubble up to double the size, so be sure to pick a big enough pan) and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 4-5 minutes. When ready, the bubbles will be small and have the appearance of honeycomb. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and cream, then leave to cool completely.

    5. To make the topping, use electric beaters to blend the soft cheese and butter together. Add the icing sugar in a few separate additions until it is all combined, then beat on high speed for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is thick, pale and light. Cover and chill until ready to use.

    6. Use a knife to remove a small amount of the core of each cupcake and fill it with 1 tsp maple caramel. Top with the cream cheese frosting, then drizzle with the remaining caramel and finish with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. The cakes will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Martha’s tip I often make a double portion of the maple caramel – it keeps in the fridge for 1 week and is fantastic on pancakes or swirled into yogurt.

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