Really now, is there a difference between a cupcake and a muffin? Is not one the same as the other with merely an aspiration of frosting? Is not a cupcake just a prissier muffin, perhaps a slightly finer body made with cake flour, but with no real substance on the inside, only covered with frosting make-up and adorned with flashy chocolate and candy accessories on the outside? Or is is that a muffin is the back asswards, lumpy, bumpy country cousin of the sophisticated city cupcake?
These questions, they are too much. I feel the need...I feel the need for...a montage.
The hour's approaching to give it your best
And you've got to reach your prime
That's when you need to put yourself to the test
And show us the passage of time
We're gonna need a montage
Ooh, it takes a montage
Show a lot of things happening at once
Remind everyone of what's going on
In every shot, show a little improvement
To show it all would take too long
That's called a montage
Girl, we want a montage
In anything, if you want to go
From just a beginner to a pro
You need a montage
Even Rocky had a montage
Always fade out in a montage
If you fade out it seems like more time has passed in a montage...
From chopped walnuts, shredded carrots, and raisins plumped in hot water to miniature carrot muffins filled with cream cheese...that's how Team Sarah does a montage.
Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling
I suppose you could also frost these with cream cheese frosting and turn them into cupcakes because if there's any cake that's the same as a muffin, it's carrot cake.
Preheat oven to 350.
Sift together 1½ c. all-purpose flour, 1½ tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp.baking powder, ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg, and 1 c. sugar.
In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs and ⅔ cup vegetable oil until lightened. Stir in 1½ c. shredded carrots, ½ c. chopped walnuts, and ½ c. raisins that have been soaked for 10 minutes in hot water (or warmed rum, if you'd like).
** As a side note, the bestbestbest carrot cake I've ever had in my life was at Just Desserts in Berkeley. I used to go to the one on College Avenue, order an enormous piece of carrot cake and an espresso and (pretend to) study until they kicked me out. The carrots in Just Desserts' carrot cake were not normal shreds, like they were done on a box grater, but long and super fine, like carrot threads. Unfortunately, my little Japanese Benriner cannot make the carrots like that.
In another bowl, cream 4 oz. softened cream cheese with 1 egg yolk, ½ c. sugar, and ½ tsp. vanilla.
Fold the dry ingredients into the egg/oil mixture. Stir until just combined. Fill mini-muffin cups about ¾ full. Plop a generous teaspoon of the cream cheese filling on top of the batter in each muffin cup.
Bake about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake part comes out clean.
** a year ago today, there was no donkey at tia juana's **