Man oh man, I've been craving carrot cake something fierce for a while now (and I'm not even pregnant, I promise). I've also been trying to incorporate ginger into our diet more and more, as I've read a bit about its anti-congestion properties. Since all four of us are either fighting colds or allergies around here (the sugi, Japanese cedars, are really bad for hayfever at the moment), I figured a little extra ginger wouldn't hurt and might even help. My little brain-wheels got turning, and I thought, Hey, why not carrot-ginger muffins? Sure enough, when I googled it, there were quite a few recipes along that line. My favorite was this one from cookthink, and what I based my muffins on.
Of course I tweaked 'em a bit:
- I've never checked in detail, but I'd be willing to hedge a bet that plain old Japanese white bleached flour is more expensive than organic whole-wheat flour in the US. So though the recipe called for part white and part whole-wheat, I just went with all white. I know. Not the healthiest, but I didn't have time, energy, or resources to go searching for whole-wheat flour at some specialty shop (you can't get it in grocery stores here).
- My powdered ginger expired in 2003. No lie. So I finished it up for this recipe, and because I'm sure it lost its potency somewhere around the beginning of 2004, I added some grated fresh ginger as well.
- I added 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Ditto for 2 tablespoons molasses.
- Instead of the ground cinnamon, I added 1/2 cup cinnamon chips that my friend Kim up in Saitama sent me recently. Kim, you rock, girl! I'd never tried them before but they added such nice intense pockets of gooey cinnamoniness.
- I didn't use baking cups - I just oiled my muffin tins and they came out just fine after they'd cooled a little.
- Didn't have allspice, so just used a bit of powdered cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (which is what a subsitution I found said to do). I'm not a big clove girl so I didn't add much of that. (After getting my wisdom teeth out at 18 and having infections that seemed to go on forever, the doc stuffed my newly acquired toothless holes with gauze that had been soaked in some kind of clove-tasting medicine gunk. Needless to say, I haven't been much of a fan since.)
- I didn't do the buttery, sugary, cinnamon topping the recipe called for because I had tasted the batter and it was already sweet enough, even after halving the brown sugar from 2 cups to 1 cup. (I used Okinawan "black" sugar, which is very molasses-y and very yummy.)
- This made way more than the 12 muffins it said it would - I also got 3 mini loaves out of it and sent 2 with Stephen to work (not that any of his colleagues were complaining).
Do you like my rice-cooker lid and my drainboard?