Bologna to Bolognese: Adventures With Food

Food is necessary. Food is fun. Food is an adventure!

My name is Shannon and this is my adventure, my love affair with food.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Heart Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins

There are few irresistible foods in this world, but for me Carrot Cake is in the top tier. You know the ones that really get the drool machine going, seven layers of carroty goodness with oozing cream cheese frosting between each layer and a delicious crust of nuts on the outside of the whole glorious tower of decadence...Oh YUM! Of course, as much as I love it, that same delightful dessert is also packed full of calories and fat (especially with all that glorious icing)! Just one slice of "The Joy Of Baking" version will cost you about 643 calories. So after some research, and inspiration from a fellow blogger, I have a version that not only cuts the fat, but also packs a powerful punch of flavor. So what's different?

First, it's downsized. Instead of the whole cake you have muffins and thanks to the brilliance of Christina Marsigliese over at "Form 5 Artisan", you get the icing too it's just inside instead of out! Second let's address the term muffin. General consensus seems to point to muffins being less sweet and more dense, and in my opinion the perfect candidate for some added nutrients courtesy of whole wheat flour. Couple that with the much lower oil content in Christinas' recipe from "Form 5 Artisan" blog and you have a muffin with less fat and more fiber. Using that recipe as a base I made some other changes, removing some ingredients and adding others. As good as these are though I think I can go further, but more about that after the main event. Here is a delicious, healthier version of that delectable dessert the Carrot Cake. Heck, it's healthy enough to qualify as breakfast food again!

Heart Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins

(Makes 12 Servings)

1 c  all purpose flour
3/4 c  whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp  baking soda
1 tsp  baking powder
1 tsp  cinnamon
1/2 tsp  allspice
1/2 tsp  ginger
1/4 tsp  nutmeg
1/4 tsp  salt
2 c  grated carrots
2/3 c  sugar
1/3 c  brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 c  applesauce
1/4 cup  fat free sour cream
6 tbsp  canola oil
1 tsp  vanilla

Frosting centers:

4 oz  cream cheese
2 tbsp  powdered sugar
1 tsp  vanilla
1/4 tsp  ground clove


Make the icing in advance. One day ahead use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese, clove, vanilla and powdered sugar. Spoon mixture into decorative ice cube trays and freeze. (You can use any ice cube tray in a pinch but it's easier to incorporate the frosting if it's frozen).

For the muffins:

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl combine the shredded carrots and sugars and allow to sit for a few minutes. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well. In a third bowl gently whip the eggs, then incorporate the sour cream, applesauce, and oil. Add this mixture to the carrots and sugar and mix well. Gently fold in the dry ingredients making sure they are well incorporated but also being careful not to over mix the batter. Fill a cupcake pan 1/2 way. (I used a novelty shaped silicone pan but you can use a normal pan, just remember to use paper liners).

Remove the icing from the molds and press into the center of each muffin. Top the muffins off with more batter to make sure the filling is well covered. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the side comes out clean.

These are simply fantastic and only 253 calories apiece, a far cry from the traditional carrot cake and it's heavy calorie price tag.

Now earlier I said I thought I could do better, and I do. The sour cream undoubtedly accounts for some of the reduction in oil but I think the next time I make this I will cut the oil again and increase the applesauce to 1/2c. Additionally I intend to switch the flour amounts to 1c Whole Wheat flour and 3/4 c All Purpose Flour. I also intend to double the allspice and ginger. When I made the filling I found I had about 2 Tbsp too much so, if you cut back to 3 oz instead of 4oz I think you'll still have enough to be satisfying but loose some fat. Be careful when adding the applesauce that you don't choose a brand high in sugar. I actually used home made apple butter in this batch which I know was low in sugar but unless you make your own, just be sure to read your labels or you could defeat all your best efforts to reduce calories by substituting.

I hope you have fun with this and make your own adjustments, so until next time, happy baking and happy eating.

No comments:

Post a Comment