~*~ Carrot Cake Fritters with Maple Cream Cheese Dip ~*~
SERVES: ABOUT 12 FRITTERS ⎪ LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE
Here’s a stripped down version of carrot cake with more carrots and less cream cheese frosting. These little guys are filled with all the classic fixin’s like raisins and walnuts, but you don’t have to stop their. Add shredded coconut, pineapple chunks, or even fresh ginger! You can have them as a sweet appetizer or top them on a salad as a full meal. Dunk them in apple sauce or this more decedent maple cream cheese dip.
5 – 6 carrots
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup rasins
2 tablespoons maple syrup or brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon group nutmeg
1-2 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons oil
for the Cream Cheese Dip
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 whipped cream cheese, ideally room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons orange zest
1-2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoons salt
optional: 1-2 Tbs bourbon
Bruce Cockburn ⎯ Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws
1. MAKE THE DIP
Combine yogurt, cream cheese, maple syrup, orange zest, juice, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Taste then add more maple, orange, or salt to taste. Chill in the fridge until time to serve.
2. PREP THE INGREDEINTS
Peel and grate carrots using a box grater (for an arm work out), or food processor. Arrange the walnuts on a baking pan. Place in the oven and set to 350℉. Shake the pan every 5 minutes until walnuts darken and smell nutty. Taste to check they are soft and roasted through. Set aside.
3. MAKE THE BATTER
Mix carrots, eggs, flour, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Layer paper towels on a baking sheet and set aside.
4. FRY THE FRITTERS
Melt butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, drop 1-2 tablespoons (1/4 cup for larger fritters) of batter into the pan. Flatten with the back of the tablespoon (or cup). Continue to add batter but don’t over-crowed. Fry the fritters on each side for 1-2 minutes until browned. Drain on the paper towels.
TIP: Since the fritters are so small, I use 2 regular spoons to flip then and check that they’re browned evenly.
Store leftover fritters in the fridge for 1 week or freeze for 3 months. Reheat by placing fritters on a baking sheet and bake in a 400F oven until warmed through and crisp, about 10 minutes.
*~* YAKAGWA VARIATION ~*~
Replace walnuts with toasted sesame seeds or pine nuts. Swap out the raisins for shredded coconut. Add 1 teaspoon fresh or powdered ginger. Swap maple syrup with honey. Fry in lite sesame oil or coconut oil. For the sauce: replace maple syrup with honey, and orange zest/juice with lemon. Add more fresh or powdered ginger to taste. Optional flavor booster: add 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or sake.
*~* GLUTEN-FREE VARIATION ~*~
Sub flours with chickpea, coconut, or almond flour. Fry in coconut oil or ghee.