Quick Post Containing Carrots

Well, I must like that vegetable. I already posted a carrot recipe, but here’s another one. This time it’s for the sweet tooth. (It seems there is an abundance of sweet stuff on here. It’s true, I like sweets!)

Carrot Mini-Muffins - With cream cheese frosting

Carrot Mini-Muffins – With lime cream cheese frosting

This particular recipe is a traditional cake from the Swiss canton (or region, if you want) of Aargau. It’s a bit of a neglected canton, and truth be told, I don’t know too much about it.  I know that it’s the canton which one of my grandmothers grew up in and that Aargauer Rüeblichueche is one of the most delicious (and thankfully simple) cakes to make and eat!

I was feeling the need for a little bit of Swiss comfort food lately, which coincided with a BBQ party we hosted about 2 weeks ago. I decided to make muffins and mini-muffins instead of a whole cake, as it is easier to handle in a house party setting. The party, as well as the muffins, were a big success.

The dough is enough for either a 24cm springform, about 20 muffins or I don’t know how many mini-muffins (I only had trays enough for 24 and had leftover dough for 12 regular muffins)

Ingredients for Cake/Muffins

5 eggs, separated
150g sugar
1 pinch of salt
2 Tbs warm water
1/2 lemon, just the peel
250g carrots, shredded
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of ground cloves
250g ground almonds
75g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preparation

Prepare springform or muffin tray. Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat egg yolks with sugar, salt and water until lightly coloured and fluffy. Mix in lemon peel and shredded carrots. Slowly fold in remaining ingredients. Fill in springform or muffin tray and bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 45-55 minutes (springform), or 20 minutes (regular muffins), or 15 minutes (mini-muffins).

For the traditional frosting, the cake should still be warm. For the cream cheese frosting, the cake should be completely cooled.

Traditional Frosting

This frosting is rather liquid, and therefore not suited (I think) for muffins. It adds, however, a nice freshness to the cake, which is why I include it here.

Ingredients

200g powdered (icing) sugar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1-2 Tbs water

Preparation

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle or brush over the still warm cake. Let cool completely before serving, as the frosting will need some time to set.

Lime Cream Cheese Frosting

I thought the muffins needed a bit of additional decoration, which is why I made this pipeable frosting. I mostly followed this recipe. I wanted it to be less sweet, though, so drastically reduced the powdered sugar.

Ingredients

225g cream cheese
65g powdered (icing) sugar
2 limes, zest and juice

Preparation

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Pipe onto completely cooled muffins, using your preferred nozzle or just a knife.

That’s it for now. I will write again shortly about my last week’s trip to the East coast. But one last picture that perfectly embodies the party we ate those muffins at:

Mustaches! - We still find them stuck to stuff around the house

Mustaches! – We still find them stuck to stuff around the house

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A Week in (Kind of) Texas

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Everything’s Bigger in Texas – Except me…

We just returned to our temporary home from a week in Austin, which everybody tells me is different from the rest of Texas (hence the title). I didn’t have many expectations before going, and consequently could not be disappointed (as had happened to me when visiting New York and Los Angeles). Also, the expectations I had were proven wrong, as it was very, very green and lush. Not at all what I had thought it would look like from watching cowboy movies:


PB was working with a friend of his and also giving a talk. We went a bit earlier than necessary and rented a car fro 2 days. The first day we spent mostly in the car in a wildlife refuge and at Buchanan Lake. The above slide show is from that day. We didn’t see much wildlife, though. Unfortunately what we saw most of was this:

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No Trespassing… – Well, we didn’t

Nonetheless, I enjoyed the day quite a lot, as it was very quiet once I stepped out of the car (something that I haven’t experienced since coming to the States). I didn’t realise how much I missed it before experiencing it again.

Next day we went to Marble Falls, which does not in fact have any waterfalls. Wikipedia tells me it’s because the Colorado River (not the same which caused the Grand Canyon) has been dammed up, thus swallowing the falls. What they do have, though, is a very nice recreational area on a side arm of the (now) lake.

On the way to Marble Falls we had spotted a very colourful shop. Since most of the shops in Marble Falls were closed, we headed back there to have a look. It was magnificent! If we ever moved to Austin, this is where I would get my outdoor decorations:

It almost rivaled the Uncommon Objects shop in Austin (of which I forgot to take pictures. D’oh!). That day was the most divers, as then we went on to Pace Bend Park, which on one side consists of cliffs, on the other of sandy beaches:

Again, it was quiet and peaceful. Should PB ever get a job at University of Austin, this would surely be our week end getaway.

Austin Downtown - Far far away

Austin Downtown – Far far away

The rest of the week, PB had to work, and I spent the days wandering around Austin downtown, which is small enough to be walkable (which I like). There are quite a few nice old houses still there. I also took a tour in the Capitol (which is taller than the one in Washington, they informed us). Here are some impressions:

Other than that I went fabric shopping at the Stitch Lab. I got something for me and something for PB’s mamma. The wife (and lovely daughter) of PB’s collaborator took me to a Premium Outlet, and I managed to spend my entire year’s worth of clothes shopping money in 2 hours. So now I’m a proud(ish) owner of a Burberry trench coat. I try to justify that purchase to anyone who asks (or doesn’t) with the fact that it cost about half as much as it would back in Switzerland. Still extravagant, though… (I might have to do something drastic to keep my conscious and Karma happy. Like not buying any fabric when visiting New York next week (ouch!)).

On the week end the collaborator family (sounds like some kind of spy or mafia movie) took us to San Antonio, which I really liked. We saw the Alamo (which is a lot smaller than I thought) and it’s gardens that are designed in the Spanish tradition and therefore beautifully lush and with loads of big trees.

Of course we also visited the Riverwalk, which is such a nice thing to have in a city! (Except people tell me in summer it’s full of mosquitoes).

Riverwalk in Background - I'm wearing my Colette Crepe

Riverwalk in Background – I’m wearing my Colette Crepe

Our hosts took us to Rio De Gelato on the Riverwalk. The gelati were really good, but what was amazing was the pizza. PB started talking with the owner, who was so happy to talk Italian that he offered us one. The crust was fluffy and airy and PB’s (who is rather picky when it comes to pizza) verdict was “Fantastic!” So if you’re ever in the neighbourhood, have a try.

As you might have guessed I rather liked my visit to not-like-rest-of-Texas. It’s mostly due to our lovely hosts, so a big thank you! You’re welcome to our home any time!