Cupcakes and crack dip, oh my!

I made a whack of cupcakes and hors d’oeuvres for a friend’s birthday this weekend.

Carrot cupcakes + cream cheese icing + candied walnuts
My lovlies, I have found my carrot cake recipe, and it’s deliciously perfect. It’s a slight variation on the description in this post – and that’s all i’m going to say. I went back to my standard cream cheese icing, and made a walnut brittle that I crushed and sprinkled on top. I was also sneaky and injected some cream cheese icing inside the cupcake for further distribution of icing goodness.

Chocolate cupcake + peanut butter mousse + bitter chocolate ganache + toasted peanuts
Unfortunately, as happy as I am with the carrot cake, I’m still looking for a perfect chocolate cake recipe. In my head, it’s like McCain Deep’n Delicious, but obviously without the gross factor. I’m thinking super dark, really moist but light cake…and it’s a work in progress. I injected the peanut butter mousse (same recipe as the peanut butter pie) into the middle of the cupcake, and glazed the whole thing with bitter chocolate ganache, topping the whole thing with crushed peanuts.

Organic veggie platter with homemade roasted garlic dip
How do you turn organic vegetables (carrots, celery, peppers, cucumber and broccoli) into something truly amazing? Make an amazing dip. The secret ingredient in the dip is crack, because it’s that addictive. I roasted an entire head of garlic with olive oil and rosemary, then mixed it with sour cream and mayonnaise to make crack dip. I also made a second version of the dip, adding lemon zest, and I love it. The lemon gives a nice brightness and contrast to the savouriness of the roasted garlic.

Mushroom-leek filo triangles
I first served these at Leah’s parents’ 30th anniversary brunch, but I made them cuter and smaller this time. When I made them for the brunch, some of them leaked (leeked, ha) so I overcompensated this time by wrapping them a little too tightly. The result: they didn’t leak, but they weren’t as flaky as I would have wanted. Somewhere in the middle, there is a perfect filo triangle.

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