Carrot Cake

The Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes

This is my very first cupcake recipe. And boy is it good! Ok, maybe it isn’t mine, because I adapted it from this one on vegweb, but my adaptation is better. And the perfect size for 12 cupcakes (which take way less time to bake than a full cake does). My sister ate 6 when we weren’t looking. They’re that good, apparently. Herma from yoga wanted carrot-cake, so I set to work, and it turns out this is the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. Thank you, Herma! I am biased, though, because I’m not fond of the texture carrot cake usually is. These are also pretty heavy on the carrot, which to my mind is a plus.

Picture of three frosted carrot cupcakes in red and white striped liners.

We also need to discuss the sweetness of my baking. Most people seem to like it, but it’s not usually as sweet as the standard recipe. I generally prefer sucanat, especially when a recipe calls for brown sugar. And unless your baked goods would be ruined by something that tastes recognisably of cane sugar, or by a darker colour, I find it adds a more complex flavour to most recipes, especially those with chocolate. Sucanat can be used in anything, it doesn’t affect texture in cookies and cakes, and you can kid yourself into thinking it’s a little healthier because it has trace minerals. Further to sometimes subbing sucanat, with American/British cookbooks I’ll almost invariably cut the sugar back to 3/4 or 7/8 of the original. I used to think that this didn’t affect the taste too much, but in truth it’s because I prefer things a little less sweet. Which is to say that you should never be afraid to improvise with your baking, as long as you keep an eye on your dry/wet/chemical-raising-agent-ratios.

Typically Dutch: Tompoezen for Everyone

OK, these are for everybody except those with-nut allergies, I’m sorry. It might be doable with silken tofu and/or soymilk, but the taste will suffer. Cashews are just the magical answer to most dairy-related problems. I haven’t found another answer yet, although sesame-pinenut-cheese is giving me hope.

Close-up picture of a mini-tompoes on a plate with pink frosting and two more tompoezen in the background.

These are incredibly delicious. It’s tastes (nearly) authentic, looks great, and you needn’t tell anybody our dirty little secret. Just pretend it came from cows, no one will notice, or at least no one will be able to tell you exactly what it is you did to make it as good as or even better than the original. For those of you who know the Netherlands: these are industrial strenght HEMA-style but without the dead pigs hooves, milk and eggs. Don’t skimp on the sugar, because that gives it it’s HEMA-authenticity, and I already downgraded it quite. Tompoezen is spelled tompoucen in Belgium and the south of the Netherlands, but HEMA still says tompoes, not tompouce, so we’ll stick with that.

Picture of three mini-tompoezen on a plate with pink frosting.

One recipe makes 18 mini tompoezen with just enough filling and frosting for 1 packet of puff pastry. Three mini-tompoezen would make one HEMA-tompoes. So effectively, this recipe makes 6, but they’re a little less overwhelming in mini-form.