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What went wrong with my Nigella Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing?

(31 Posts)
Sycamoretree Sun 05-Oct-08 18:31:05

DD and I are in a grump. We went to Sainsburys in the rain to get the ingredients and we have just iced them, added some additional sprinkles and sat down to enjoy the fruits of a rainy afternoons labour...but they are just "yucky". I had to agree with DD.

They are dry, and a bit small, and not very sweet. Certainly not the moist carroty loveliness we were expecting. The icing was nice, but it's too runny. They are going in the DH bin.

They are from her original Domestic Goddess book.

BBBee Sun 05-Oct-08 18:32:11

she messes up loads though - stuff in ingredients and not in recipes - too high temp listed for her cakes etc - I think there is a website of nigella mistakes.

poor you! and poor dd!

beansontoast Sun 05-Oct-08 18:33:53

oh what a shame...i have made them and thought they were amazing.not very sweet though,true.

and the icing is difficult to make not runny and keep any cheesy flavour.

i can really sympathise though...cos teh ingredients are time eat the mix raw!

Sycamoretree Sun 05-Oct-08 18:51:47

Well, ahem, we did eat lick the spoon so yes, the raw mix was lovely.

Sycamoretree Sun 05-Oct-08 18:58:55

Beans - did you use a fan oven? Am wondering if 20 mins was too long at 200 degrees if it was a fan oven. The tops were slightly crunchy...

NoblesseOblige Sun 05-Oct-08 19:00:13

jamie oliver has a fab carrot cake recipe with lush icing too - maybe that oucld be adapted to cupcakes?

my neighbour made lovely carrot cupcakes and got the recipe off the cbbc website i think?

lulu25 Sun 05-Oct-08 19:03:31

i've made those and they were dusty and dry and pretty yuk. i cook loads from that book and the recipes are quite variable (brownies, london cheesecake, banana bread 100% success rate if you want recommendations next time you open it smile)

dittany Sun 05-Oct-08 19:04:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sycamoretree Sun 05-Oct-08 19:19:41

Hmm, they were definitely not suffering from too much sugar, probably not enough. Yes, they were dry and dusty just like yours lulu. I think I once made her bretton cake too and it was a bit bleugh. BUT, her ginger cake with lemon icing is utterly second to none, and so easy. Am a bit gutted because we were so close to doing the banana bread as it would have been great for through the week, but you know, it was about DD decorating the cakes and something to do, so we went for the cupcakes.

Really, they are much more of a muffin, and yet her chit chat at the top of the page goes on about how they are not some breakfast good for you nonsense, but a proper cake.

Thanks for the Jamie O tip off, btw.

For those of you who have successfully made a cream cheese icing, what did you use? I used M&S philadelphia style stuff, but it was perhaps a bit too soft?

mrspnut Sun 05-Oct-08 19:22:34

I make Nigel Slater's carrot cake with cream cheese and orange icing which is lush and I have made into muffins before (just cook it for less time)

The icing is made from marscapone, phillidelphia, icing sugar and orange zest.

Sycamoretree Sun 05-Oct-08 19:25:25

Mmmn, sound lovely! Have a couple of Nigel's books - can you remember which one it's in?

SquiffyHock Sun 05-Oct-08 19:29:01

I made Nigella's brownies and they were terrible. The ingredients cost a fortune and they just would not cook in the middle - dry ones around the outside, slop in the middle. Maybe I should have used a smaller pan sad

JackieNo Sun 05-Oct-08 19:30:41

Doesn't look as if it's the recipe in this instance - but in case it's useful, here's the list of amendments to various of her recipes.

mabanana Sun 05-Oct-08 19:31:17

I often make icing with philadelphia or similar, and lots and lots of icing sugar! Beat it really well. Yum!

janeite Sun 05-Oct-08 19:34:08

Squiffy - I've made two different lots of Nigella's brownies and they were both disasterous: so frustrating when you've spent a fortune on ingredients.

If anybody wants a really good cream cheese icing though, I recommend the one for the choclate Guinness cake, which contains double cream and is absolutely gorgeous - and idiot proof too! And I use either Philly or the Sainsbo's cheaper version of it.

skidoodle Sun 05-Oct-08 19:35:56

I think your mistake was putting carrots into a cake.

Feel free to join my campaign:

"No fruit in dinner, No vegetables in cake"

More usefully:

I would definitely reduce the heat by about 10-20 degrees C if using a fan oven.

Crunchy tops not good for fairy cakes. Sounds like there were other issues too, but they were overdone if the tops were like that.

I can't wait to start baking with my DD Hope you had a fun day anyway.

Guadalupe Sun 05-Oct-08 19:36:14

I only used that recipe once as they were dry and a bit bland. Worst carrot cake I ever made and I normally quite like her recipes.

Sycamoretree Sun 05-Oct-08 19:57:42

Ha ha Skidoodle - I like that mantra - though ironically I was trying to show DD how things like carrots and cheese could be used in other ways. She was a bit hmm and of course, Nigella only went and proved her right..

DD is only 3, but she can pour and stir and by god, she can zest a lemon as of today! It's also great fun for her when it comes to sprinkling. My sister is a fabulous baker so is always giving us all these amazing decorations. Today we used multicoloured turtle shapes and also lemon crystals!

I have been pondering one of those "funpods" but I saw a thread on here laughing them out of town. They are so pricey, but to me they seem to make a lot of sense. If I bought one, I would have to deny all knowledge on MN! Baking with DD is my default position on depressing, rainy, winter sundays...and DH is always glad I keep her occupied for an hour or so, and he gets to eat cake after!

AbbaFan Sun 05-Oct-08 20:10:51

I made these a couple of weeks ago, and they were really nice.

I couldn't get the icing right, but you seem to have that part sussed anyway.

Sycamoretree Sun 05-Oct-08 20:20:39

Interesting - the recipe is almost the same as Nigella's, except she goes for plain flour with bicarb, rather than self raising. Also, there are a lot of nuts in hers, and no raisins, which I confess I'm rather partial to in a carrot cake.

skidoodle Sun 05-Oct-08 20:36:06

She's only 3! What a clever girl

You will soon be reaping the rewards of your teaching her to bake - soon she won't need your help and you will be able to read a book on rainy days while the smell of baking cakes wafts in.

My sister, brother and I used to bake every weekend as children. And actually, even as constantly starving teenagers we kept it going, and just got more and more adventurous in what we made. <drifts off into cake and pudding flavoured reverie>

Baking with your children is the gift that keeps on giving

Sycamoretree Sun 05-Oct-08 20:38:46

Don't be too impressed Skidoodle, let's just say, there's an awful lot of "now pass that here an let mummy give it some special mummy wellie!" She can, uncannily, crack and egg rather well though. grin

SuperBunny Sun 05-Oct-08 20:59:38

Nigella's carrot cakes are yucky.

I made DS's birthday cake using this recipe and it was yummy. We froze the leftovers and it was still good:

3 eggs
7floz sunflower oil
2tsp vanilla essence
14oz soft brown sugar
10oz plain wholemeal flour (or plain white)
1tsp ground nutmeg
2tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2tsb bicarb
12oz grated carrot
2floz milk

Grease + line 8" cake tin.
Oven 250f / 130c (gas mark 1)
Mix eggs, oil, vanilla, milk and sugar. Sift in flour, spices and bicarb.
Beat well.
Fold in carrots.
Pour into tin and bake for 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 hours.

Topping: 6oz Philly, 2oz butter, 4oz icing sugar. Beat together.

Sycamoretree Sun 05-Oct-08 21:35:08

Thanks superbunny - more eggs, more milk, and vanilla essence than Nigella - all things likely to make a cake more moist and delicious. Will give it a whirl next time it rains (that'll be tomorrow then).

MingMingtheWonderPet Sun 05-Oct-08 21:40:15

Mary Berry's American Spiced Carrot Tray bake is lovely. I have made it as a traybake and also as cupcakes and it works beautifully. I tend to substitute the nuts in it for raisins/sultanas.

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