I seem to be going through a bit of a 'cute' phase. The coffee kisses with chocolate piping, the dog shaped piece of tea bread, the tiny langues du chat, bright pink rhubarb, the pink, the pink... and so on. I thought I might as well go overboard and make tiny, adorable carrot muffins topped with swirls of icing and surrounded by pink petals. Have you got that I've-eaten-too-much-candyfloss feeling yet?
For a change, I think I can blame my mum for a significant portion of this post's cuteness. She suggested I try out the mini muffin pan (mid my spooning the mixture into normal muffin cases) and I couldn't resist. She also managed to knock nearly all the petals off the tulips on our coffee table and then gave them to me 'for photographs and things'. The tulips were on their last legs anyway so it's not too much of a tragedy, however much I hate seeing a dismembered flower.
The mini muffins came out wonderfully - I prefer them to their bigger brothers. There's a good icing to cake ratio which stops them feeling a little dry. When I was making the mix I was very skeptical - it seemed awfully oily and didn't taste too great. I had to grate a quarter of an apple to substitute for the final 25g of carrot as I didn't have any left. I also managed to unintentionally double the amount of grated rind in the recipe and added some nutmeg. Another time I would add some sultanas too, grate the carrot with a finer cut and finely chop the pecans, especially if making mini muffins again. I've put the recipe below as I made it - perhaps add in 50g of sultanas if desired.
Thankfully they came together but I wasn't sure they were post-worthy after eating one naked. I still made up some icing but I didn't really note down the amounts for it as I didn't think I was going to post it (I've given my closest approximation, rely on your own judgement!). Then I smeared it on and took a bite and was amazed - the icing really transforms the muffins. It's creamy but still quite light with a good kick of spice and a hint of sharp.
Afterwards, I remembered the petals and decided to give some more photos a go. I'm glad I did - I'm pleased with the results. I do love flowers and would never strip one of it's petals intentionally so it was a good opportunity to play with them. This isn't a perfect recipe, but I thought I would share anyway as they're still yummy, especially with icing!
(Edit: I'm not happy with the carrot cake recipe so I've removed it. I've left the icing, which you could use on another carrot cake recipe you like)
For the icing:
8 tbsp marscarpone
4 tbsp icing sugar
juice of a lemon
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
a grind of nutmeg
Beat the icing sugar and marscarpone together in a bowl, followed by the lemon juice and spices. Blend well and smear onto the muffins.