I’m a pretty big cheese whore. I mean – I can tear through a block of cheese like nobody’s business. I love those deep complex flavors. Which is probably why I never really cared much for cream cheese, cream cheese frosting… or cheesecake for that matter. It’s like munching on a pile of milk flavored Crisco… and that just isn’t appetizing.
Add to that – Jane’s zero tolerance for lactose – cream cheese has no place in this house.
We had a hankering for carrot cake this week, and while I could have used the Tofutti Soy Cream Cheese for the frosting – I wanted something with a little more taste to it. Don’t get me wrong, the Tofutti product are a passable substitute for dairy… texture-wise, but they lack severely in the taste department. And, if I’m going to go through the trouble to make a cheese frosting – I don’t want it to taste like sweetened tofu.
You’ve seen me write about Cabot’s Cheeses before. Their Extra Sharp and Seriously Sharp Cheddar are are pretty much 100% lactose free.*
*Note: Regan Jones RD, with Cabot’s Creamery had this to say about cheddar and their cheeses in particular:
“Okay… so here’s the real scoop. All cheddar cheese is lactose free. We just happen to want to make sure people know it 😉 That said, I’m completely partial & bias, but I say even if other cheddars are also lactose free, ours tastes the best. We aren’t called “World’s Best Cheddar” for nothin’. “
However, I actually am going to clarify something here. All cheddars may be “lactose reduced” and for someone with a marginal intolerance level – “any” cheddar may work for you. However, I deal with someone who is 100% lactose intolerant – so we have to be more diligent in sourcing out an acceptable cheese. Cabot’s Extra Sharp and Seriously Sharp varieties have been aged long enough to remove all but negligible trace amounts of lactose and this makes them one of the very few cheddars we can eat. I am sure there are small batch makers and artisanal cheese companies that go the extra mile to produce quality cheeses. But, in a world of mass produced cheeses, that’s a rarity in bulk packaged cheese.
So, now you’re wondering why I’m talking cheddar and cream cheese in the same breath. I decided to change things up a bit and try using an extra sharp white cheddar instead of cream cheese for that frosting… .. .
I think I have a new love.
Carrot Cake Muffins with
White Cheddar Frosting
Makes 24 Muffins
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs
2 Cups AP Flour
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon All Spice
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Paste
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3 Cups Finely Shredded Carrots
1 cup Raisins
Large Mixing Bowl
24 Hole Muffin Tin
White Cheddar Frosting:
4 Ounces Sharp White Cheddar
1/4 Cup Orange Marmalade
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Paste (or 1/2 Teaspoon Extract)
1 Teaspoon Margarine
3 Cups Powdered Sugar
Medium Mixing Bowl
For the Muffins:
- Preheat oven to 330
- Insert the cups into the tins and lightly spray the top of the pan with cooking spray
- In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, oil and eggs for about 30 seconds or until blended.
- Add flour, spices, baking soda and the salt
- Beat on low speed 1 minute. Stir in carrots and raisins
- Pour into Cups.
- Bake at 330 for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to cooling rack
- Cool completely before icing.
For the Frosting:
- Micro plane all the cheese onto a paper towel and set aside
- In medium bowl, beat the micro-planed cheddar cheese,margarine, marmalade and vanilla with a spatula until smooth.
- Gradually add in the powdered sugar, 1/4 at a time, until smooth and spreadable.
- Store in refrigerator
- To Frost – spread about 1 tablespoon of the frosting over the top of each completely cooled muffin