Friday, September 27, 2013

Favorite Things: 09.27.13

Just a few little bits and pieces I've picked up lately that I'm loving:

4. Kahina Argan Oil--there are lots of argan oils on the market, but this one's my favorite. Plus they're charitable.
5. My absolute favorite new tote by new brand Mansur Gavriel. Light as a feather and very beautiful in its simplicity.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Since I moved into my new apartment in Brooklyn, I've barely cooked. For one, I spent a grand total of five weeks there (several of which were spent frantically furnishing/unpacking/figuring out the new neighborhood/trying every restaurant within a 5 block radius) before flying over to London for the big launch of the amazing EDITION Hotel in Fitzrovia during London Fashion Week. Quick aside: I don't play favorites, but as far as clients go, they are pretty tops--I highly recommend checking out the gorgeous property when you're in town, along with the proper Sunday Roast at Berners Tavern, the Jason Atherton restaurant connected to the hotel.

Secondly, I have one of those newfangled ovens that looks about as inviting as an alien spaceship and equally hard to operate. Long story short: I couldn't suss out how to turn the damn thing on. Even after reading every single word of the operating manual. Sigh.

I finally managed it, however, during my very last weekend there, and these carrot cake cupcakes were the very excellent result. The recipe is super simple and the cream cheese frosting alone is enough to make it worth it. xo

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 24 cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake molds with papers. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and raisins, if using. Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling 3/4 of the way up.

Bake cupcakes 14 to 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Let cool in pans for five minutes or so, then transfer cakes to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing them.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes a lot. This is a good thing.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners sugar

Beat together all ingredients until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.