Carrot Chocolate Chip Cakes and Pâtisserie Review
If you’re looking for a really quick and easy bake to feed a crowd, you won’t go far wrong with these carrot chocolate chip cakes. They’re sweet and flavoursome and contain chocolate. The surprising thing about them is that the recipe comes from William & Suzue Curley’s book Patisserie.
Last year, I won a copy of William Curley’s book Couture Chocolate. It’s an excellent tome giving insights and detailed instructions on making chocolates and chocolate pâtisserie. Every aspiring chocolatier should have one. William Curley was the youngest ever Chef Pâtissier at The Savoy and has won numerous awards in the world of chocolate and pastry.
This year the publisher, Jacqui Small sent me a copy of his newest book Pâtisserie. He’s written this one jointly with his wife Suzue Curley, a pâtissiere whose work is influenced by her Japanese background. Endorsed by renowned pâtissier, Pierre Hermé who writes the Foreword, we get the idea that William is a very talented man indeed.
Twice the size of his last book, but in a similar vain, this is a detailed manual on the art of modern pâtisserie. The history of pastry making is not forgotten and makes a fine start to the proceeding chapters. Perusing the mini biographies of various influential pâtissiers, I have to admit I was only familiar with the names of Marie-Antoine Carême and August Escoffier. A detailed twenty page guide covering ingredients, equipment and basic techniques prepares us for the two main parts of the book: The Foundation and The Pâtisserie.
This book would make a fantastic reference work for anyone interested in learning the techniques and recipes involved in pâtisserie or just wanting to improve their presentation skills. Many of the creations in this book are so magnificent, they are beyond what I even aspire too, but there are so many useful tips and techniques given here I know I shall be referring to it and using it as inspiration for many years to come. If nothing else, it’s a fabulous book to browse through, dream over and treasure.
Patisserie by William Curley and Suzue Curley. Photographs by Jose Lasheras. Published by Jacqui Small in 2014. 9781909342217. It has an RRP of £40. Reviewed by Choclette on 1 July 2014.
To give a flavour of what you will find inside, here is a video of William and Suzue demonstrating one of the recipes: Strawberry and Pistachio Breton Tart.
Patisserie – The Foundation
The Foundation covers all of the basic recipes that are needed in order to create pâtisserie. Comprising nearly half of the 344 pages, it covers all sorts of recipes and techniques for making pastries, doughs, sponges, meringues, creams, custards, mousses, syrups, glazes, compotes and caramels. Each basic recipe points to the patisserie it’s linked to in the second part of the book. And the accompanying page numbers make it very handy to have a quick look.
Precision is a key factor and William and Suzue even measure the eggs and baking powder in grams, rather than leaving them to the vagaries of teaspoons and differently sized eggs.
The Pâtisserie part of the book is where the creativity comes in and succulent tarts, pretty little gâteaux, dainty macarons and various magnificent structures can be seen in all their glory. Each entry refers you back to the basic recipes but includes any additional requirements. Step by step instructions are given throughout, with accompanying informative photographs for all but the simplest creations. The recipes are detailed, often going into four pages.
With my love of matcha for baking purposes, I was pleased to see a number of recipes where it featured. This includes some vibrant green matcha eclairs and Les Misérables – a stacked affair of matcha and almond sponges layered with a Japanese muscovado caramel buttercream. My mouth is watering just at the thought of it and I’m feeling just a little bit miserable that I can’t eat one right now.
The photographs of the finished articles, by Spanish photographer and artist Jose Lasheras are works of art in themselves. For the visually orientated and those that like to see what they might make before they attempt it, you will not be disappointed – photographs abound.
As someone who is always in a hurry, elegant pâtisserie is something I very much appreciate but I’m doubtful that I’d have the patience to make any myself. So I was glad to see that not everything in the book is complicated. The Baked Cakes section is more in line with what I’m used to and I’m looking forward to trying out some of these slightly more prosaic recipes. The bakes are a mix of traditional with a Curley twist and new creations.
The cannelés de Bordeaux au rhum, a recipe I’ve long wanted to make, looked fairly traditional, but I suspect the pâtissiers of old would have been perplexed by the houji cha & hazelnut financiers. It was in this section that I found out that madeleines were much older than I expected and dated back to 1661.
Amongst the French fancies, I noted, with some surprise, a Dundee cake. I’m not sure what the good folks of Dundee would think of this version. For it contains rum-marinated sultanas and is decorated with crystallised pistachios. But it sounds very tasty to me. The carrot and chocolate chip cakes are one of Suzue’s recipes. They quickly caught my eye and I decided I was going to bake those as my introduction.
Carrot Chocolate Chip Cakes
As usual, I didn’t quite follow the recipe. I suspect my reluctance to embark on some of the more complicated recipes is the need I feel to go my own way and keep things as simple as possible.
And simple is the name of the game here. If you don’t include the resting time, these carrot chocolate chip cakes are incredibly quick and easy to make. This is especially true if you make mini cakes as I’ve done here. They only take about twelve minutes to bake in the oven. If you decide to go with regular cupcake sized cakes, they will take an extra eight minutes or so to cook.
The only effort you need to put into these cakes is to grate the carrots. Other than that it’s pretty much a case of stirring. First of all you need to melt the butter, so it’s not a one pan wonder. But it means you don’t need to cream the butter and sugar. That’s the bit I always find a bit of a pain.
I’ve not tried the originals so I’m unable to compare. However, I absolutely adored these cakes and they didn’t last nearly as long as they should have done. But hey, I was only following the Curley advice to eat them within one or two days.
In fact these little carrot chocolate chip cakes are just perfect for feeding a crowd. Not only are they quick and easy to make, but everyone will love them.
Other Sweet Carrot Recipes You Might Like
- Carrot cake flapjacks via Tin and Thyme
- Carrot smoothie with ginger & orange via Tin and Thyme
- Easy carrot cake with orange mascarpone cream via The Petite Cook
- Easy carrot jam via Tin and Thyme
- Healthy carrot muffins (vegan & nut free) via Sneak Veg
- Mango carrot smoothie via Tin and Thyme
- Moist carrot cake with easy orange frosting (vegan) via Family, Friends Food
- Cinnamon maple glazed carrot fries via Recipes from a Pantry
For more recipes and ideas on how to use vegetables in sweet bakes, take a look at my Vegetable Cakes category.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these carrot chocolate chip cakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
Chocolate Chip Carrot Cakes. PIN IT.
Carrot Chocolate Chip Cakes – The Recipe
Carrot Chocolate Chip Cakes
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 150 g carrots - washed, scrubbed and grated
- 2 medium eggs
- 150 g golden caster sugar
- 150 g flour (half wholemeal, half plain)
- 25 g ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 75 g 70% dark chocolate - chopped
- Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly.
- Mix the carrots and eggs together in a large bowl.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Sift in the flours, ground almonds, baking powder and ground cinnamon.
- Stir gently until everything is just incorporated. Finally stir in the butter and chocolate.
- Spoon the mixture into 24 mini cupcake moulds, filling them to about the ¾ level.
- Leave to rest for 30 minutes, then bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for about 12 minutes.
- Leave in the moulds to cool for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Thanks to Jacqui Small for the copy of Pâtisserie. There was no requirement to write a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.