Never in 1 million years would I imagine that I would decide to candy some carrots and put it on a cupcake. Did you read that sentence? On a school night and on a whim, I decided to candy carrots and then curl them. Whew. This pandemic is affecting people in all sorts of ways.
Here’s the backstory:
It felt like everyone and their mama was making the Divorce Carrot Cake that is so popular on Reddit and I needed to know what the big deal was. So I made the recipe, but decided to make cupcakes. I drained the pineapple juice into a large measuring cup, because “waste not, want not” was drilled into my head as a child. I originally planned to make a margarita with the pineapple juice. This is where this whole thing should have ended. With a nice ice cold margarita on the rocks.
But no. I had to make a decorating plan, which led me to pinterest and through some sort of magic, I learned about Danita, another southern girl, who found a recipe in a Southern Living to make candied carrot twists. So now I’m intrigued. I had to have them on top of these cupcakes.
As I was curling these bad boys, I had flashbacks of those pink foam rollers from the 90s. Did y’all do that? If you’ve ever curled your hair in your life, you know that you have to start the curl at the very end of your hair, otherwise the curl is weird and then you can’t leave the house because of the sheer mortification. This is true of the carrot curls. Also true, the size of your curling instrument will dictate what kind of curl you end up with. I used a couple of pairs of chopsticks to get a tighter spiral. For a looser curl, try using the back of a wooden spoon if that’s what you have. I found that spraying the chopsticks with a little cooking spray prevented the candied carrots from getting stuck.
Was all of this effort worth it?
ABSOLUTELY. 10/10 would do this again. The pineapple juice added an extra flavor profile that no one was expecting. Why would a carrot taste like pineapple!?!? And while the carrot wasn’t crunchy, it added an extra boost to the bite of carrot cake.Print
Thinly sliced carrots candied in pineapple juice and curled making a cool decoration for your next carrot cupcake.
2 large carrots
1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup granulated sugar
- Thinly peel 2 large carrots, aiming for at least 30 slices.
- In a large saucepan, bring the pineapple juice and the sugar to a boil. Add the carrots and boil for another minute before reducing the heat to a simmer. Let the carrots simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 225ºF
- Drain the liquid from the carrots and then carefully lay each carrot strip onto the parchment paper, making sure they don’t touch.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Once carrots are out of the oven it’s time to curl. Spray the ends of a pair of chopsticks, or end of a wooden spoon with cooking spray.
- Going slice by slice, wrap the carrot around the end of the chopstick. Wait 20- 30 seconds, then slide the carrot off the stick, keeping the curl intact. Return the curl to the cookie sheet. Repeat until all of the carrots are curled.