19 April 2019

CARROT CAKE TRUFFLES

Carrot cake is one of the spring classics, and with Easter being just around the corner, these lovely truffles may be just the right thing for the sweets platter. My love for making cakes into truffles is already a well-known fact, and the Easter charmer has had its makeover. All of the gorgeous flavour of the famed carrot cake, but none of the work. With a distinct deep orange colour, signature warm spices, lemon zest, and biscuits, they truly are divine in flavour. The base is pure caramel, and the essence of carrot cake is echoed in cinnamon, vanilla, and gorgeous toasted walnuts.
This is one of the many truffle recipes of mine that is meant to be simple enough to be an everyday sweet treat, and a celebratory, indulgent dessert for special occasions. Since these are no-bake truffles, they are incredibly quick to make, and if in a hurry, can be served in under an hour. You need one pot and a wooden spoon. And a grater, of course.
The raisins are optional, though. I know the general opinion on raisins is greatly divided, so if you aren’t an appreciator of raisins, omit them. Moreover, truffles can even be made fully vegan, by choosing vegan biscuits and making sure the sugar used is vegan. And on a final note, if not serving these to the little ones, feel free to add a splash of whisky or cinnamon vodka before adding in the biscuit crumbs.


Ingredients
350 grams carrots, grated
150 grams granulated sugar
400 ml cold water, divided
½ lemon, zest and juice
40 grams cornflour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
50 grams raisins
200 grams biscuit crumbs
150 grams chopped toasted walnuts, for coating


Preparation
Pour the granulated sugar in an even layer into a heavy-bottomed saucepan (lighter pans work best), and shake the pan so the sugar distributes evenly. Place the pan over medium heat, and let the sugar melt slowly. Do not turn up the heat or stir the sugar, just let it slowly cook. Once it starts to brown around the edges, gently move the melted parts towards the centre. Keep cooking over medium heat, whilst keeping a close eye on it, until it starts to turn darker in colour and become very fragrant.
Once it becomes a deep amber colour, and the surface looks shiny, very carefully pour in 100 ml of water. Always pour away from you, especially when working with cooked sugar. After the water has been added, the sugar will become hard again, but that is fine, just keep cooking and stirring gently until it dissolves back, and the mixture is bubbling. Add in the grated carrots, along with the lemon juice, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until they start turning slightly darker and soft, about 10 minutes. Add in another 100 ml of cold water, along with the raisins, and cook for another 5 minutes, until thickened up.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornflour and the remaining cold water, and pour it into the softened carrots. Mix with a wooden spoon until a smooth batter forms, about a minute or so, then remove it from the heat. Immediately add the cinnamon, lemon zest, and the vanilla, mix well, then tip in the biscuit crumbs. The batter will become very thick and ever so slightly tacky, but you will be able to roll it into truffles. Working quickly, take out tablespoons of batter and roll them into chopped toasted walnuts. Place them in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Yields 25 truffles.

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