I have done something creative and unusual with carrots. No, it doesn't involve starting my own adult YouTube channel. What I did is this: I made carrot sugar.
Let me explain how this magical orange dust came into existence. You see, a few weeks ago I was working on developing a recipe for carrot cupcakes. They came out beautifully, and part of their appeal was the homemade candied carrot peel garnish.
But once the recipe was done, I had a lot of candied carrot peel. As appetizing as it is as a garnish, it's not quite as appealing as a stand-alone snack. So, I found myself with a good 3/4 cup of candied carrot peel.
I don't know if I'm the only one who thinks like this, but.
When it came to using up this candied carrot peel, I pretty immediately thought "I wonder what would happen if I ground this candied carrot peel back into sugar?"
After it had been around for a few days, it had gotten pretty dry, which I figured would work to my advantage.
So, I put the carrot peel in the blender...
...and blended. At first it was somewhat coarse, so I blended a bit more, until it had a consistency with the smallest granules like confectioners' sugar, and the largest about the consistency of granulated sugar.
All of those candied carrot bits yielded a rather small amount of sugar (about 3 tablespoons' worth), but look at how pretty.
So how would I use this carrot sugar?
The way that I decided to do it was like so: to use it in a very small-batch buttercream.
I combined about 2 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter with the carrot sugar and a pinch of salt, and mixed with a little spreading knife, acting like it was a palette knife and I was mixing acrylic paint. It made me feel like a particularly artistic bunny.
Then, I piped it on to a cupcake.
I loved how this came out! I have to say that I have the benefit of having gone through the process of creation, so I think that I was tasting with extra curiosity and anticipation. I don't know if you'd be able to tell that this was a carrot buttercream, because interestingly, it didn't SCREAM carrot.
So, the carrot-sugar buttercream was subtle--not super carrot-y, but definitely a little different. The carrot bits gave it a little bit of texture, and a definitely earthy flavor. The sweetness wasn't as tooth-numbing as a typical confectioners' sugar.
To review: how I made this carrot sugar
- I made a batch of candied carrot peel.
- Part of it, I used to garnish carrot cupcakes. But I had about 3/4 cup of candied carrot peel leftover, and no particular use for it.
- I blended the leftover candied carrot peel into a sugar consistency.
- I used it in a small-batch buttercream, but I bet it would be a great way to sweeten a club soda or a cocktail, or to use as a sprinkled garnish on a carrot cake.
Oh, and PS, I also reserved the sugar-water from boiling the candied carrot peel, let it dry, and then ground that, too. It's in the background here. What should I do with that, do you think?