The Perfect Carrot Cake

I was looking at Carrot Cake recipes this morning amongst the books in my bookcase, then had a browse around online and finally decided to make this one as I really fancied the recipe, plus I had all the ingredients 🙂

The recipe is from the website http://www.cakebaker.co.uk and the link to the acutal recipe is here   http://www.cakebaker.co.uk/MakingThePerfectCarrotCake.html

The cake is in the oven as I type this and has about 45 mins left to bake, once its all done and dusted I’ll post a picture

The Perfect Carrot Cake

Ingredients for the cake

  • 12½ oz carrots
  • 2 oz pecans
  • 4 oz self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 4 oz plain wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 8 fl oz vegetable oil
  • 6 oz soft brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup

Ingredients for the topping

  • 7 oz cream cheese
  • 2 oz softened unsalted butter
  • 2 oz sifted icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essenceThese quantities make a 9” round cake / 1 x 2lb Loaf Tin
  • Start off by grating 12½ oz carrots and chopping 2 oz pecans. Put to one side.
  • Sieve together 4 oz self-raising flour and 4 oz plain flour (both wholemeal) with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda. (Tip the bran bits left in the sieve into the mixture.)
  • Whisk together 8 fl oz vegetable oil, 6 oz soft brown sugar, 4 eggs and 2 tablespoons’ golden syrup. (Heat the spoon first and the syrup will slide off easily.)
  • Add this to the dry ingredients and mix until it’s nice and smooth. Stir in the carrots and pecans.
  • Tip the mixture into a greased lined tin and cook at 160oC for an hour, or until cooked.
  • For the topping, mix 7 oz cream cheese, 2 oz softened unsalted butter, 2 oz sifted icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, until smooth.
  • Allow the cake to cool and then add the topping

This cake will keep for a few days in an airtight container. That is, if you can resist it that long!

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Victoria Sponge Cake….

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Yesterday I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, our friends were coming round in the evening for a visit so I decided to try a different lasagne recipe, and it took me hours!!  It did taste delicious tho, so I will keep that one up my sleeve for future special occasions, or when I have bags of time to dipose of :-).     I also made a quick and simple  wee sponge cake, think i’ll make this one at easter too it looks pretty 🙂

If you have little kiddies they would absolutely love this… but it’s also good for us big kiddies too 😉     The above picture was the only slice left this morning, I managed to get a quick picture before my son scoffed the lot!

Here is the recipe..

  • 6oz Butter or Margarine
  • 6oz Caster Sugar
  • 6 oz Plain Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • Dash of Vanilla Extract
  • Icing Sugar
  • Sprinkles
  • Micro Chocolate Eggs

Method:

I use my food mixer

  • Cream the butter and sugar together until pale light and fluffy
  • Add the eggs one at a time and  mix well
  • Add the flour and vanilla extract until thoroughly mixed
  • Pour the mixture into a greased/lined cake tin
  • Bake in the oven @ 170 degrees C for 20 minutes
  • Remove from Oven and allow to cool on a wire rack
  • Mix up your icing sugar and cover over the cooled cake, cover with sprinkles and scatter a few little chocolate eggs over the top.

Pineapple & White Choc Chip Muffins

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I’ve been making rather a lot of Muffins lately….

But there is a genuine reason for this muffin overdose on my blog, my daughter.. she needs to practice making muffins, she has an exam this friday coming.

So instead of baking different things at the weekend, as I love to do, we have been making mostly….. the humble muffin 🙂

My daughter will be making Strawberry and White Choc Chip Muffins on the day of the exam, today we bring to you……….

Pineapple and White Choc Chip Muffins

Makes 12

Ingredients :

  • 4oz – 115g Butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 oz – 70g caster sugar
  • 1oz – 30g dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 7 1/2oz – 215g Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4fl oz – 125ml Milk
  • 4oz White Choc Chips
  • 5oz Fresh Pineapple, chopped small.

Method :

  • Cream the butter until soft and add both the caster and the dark brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs 1 at a time
  • sift together the flour and baking powder, then fold into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk then fold in the pineapple and the choc chips.
  • Divide the mixture equally between the 12 muffin cases/tin
  • Bake for 25 minutes @ 375 degrees F – 190 degrees C or Gas Mark 5
  • Once baked allow to stand for 25 minutes before turning out.

Verdict : My daughter gave it 8/10 because of the lack of choc chip in the one she ate and my son gave it 9/10 loved the taste combination.

Chocolate and beetroot brownies recipe

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I watched these being made the other week whislt watching the River Cottage tv programme and thought I would give them a try.. I have to admit that I am not a lover of beetroot, but then that’s probably because I associate it with the pickled stuff that comes in jars, tasted it once when I was a youngster and its kinda stuck in my head that I dont like it..

Time to give it another try, if Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall can convert non-beetroot lovers that it is a truely versatile veg then I think I should give this glorious purpley-red globe the benefit of my doubt !

The photograph unfortunately is not mine….thanks to my springer spaniel, my camera is well and truely knackered!! …. its from the website where the recipe is (link at bottom of the page)

Ingredients

  • 250g/10oz good, dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 250g/10oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for greasing
  • 250g/10oz caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour (we used wholemeal self-raising)
  • 250g beetroot, boiled until tender, peeled and grated

Method: How to make chocolate and beetroot brownies

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a baking tin of approximately 20 x 30 x 3cm and line the bottom with baking parchment.

2. Break up the chocolate into pieces, cut the butter into cubes then mix them up a bit in a heatproof bowl. As the oven begins to warm up, put the bowl onto one of the shelves for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter starts to melt. Stir, and put back into the oven for a few more minutes to melt completely.

3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until combined, then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Gently fold in the flour then the beetroot – be careful not to overmix or it will make the brownies tough.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth over the top with a spatula. Bake for about 20 minutes. A knife or skewer pushed into the middle should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Don’t be tempted to overcook them! Remove the tin from the oven and leave on wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.

Hugh’s tip:

Be careful not to overmix or it will make the brownies tough.

Recipe Link to the Channel 4 Food Website

Cupcake Addiction….?

I love being off work, I get to be with the kids, my pets and play in my kitchen till my heart is content..

This morning I made the kids pancakes for breakfast, they had maple syrup, homemade raspberry, strawberry and blackcurrant jam on them, they were absolutely delicious (I must put my recipe on the blog).  

I also have my 14yr old niece staying with me for a month, she has travelled over from Greece, so I have 3 ravenous teenagers to feed 🙂

I also made some Salsa (cooked version) which I will put into a sterilised Kilner Jar, which will be used at the weekend for my daughters Cowgirl party, I have decided to do Tex-Mex food for it, and i’m making things piece by piece 🙂

The kids have just come back in from a bike ride along the local coastal path,  I have just finished Icing the cupcakes I made about an hour ago,  as soon as they came into the kitchen they homed in on the cupcakes I guess they won’t last very long!   I did however, manage to get some pictures of them before they disappear

Soooo I’m thinking I might just have a bit of an addiction where it comes to cupcakes/fairycakes, they are just easy to make, and I looove coming up with different toppings for them ..

All Occassion Cupcakes

I was flicking through some old magazines yesterday and came across this recipe for cupcakes/fairy cakes, the recipe itself is completely different, using Yoghurt and ground almonds, so I thought I would give them a try.

Recipe:

  • 150ml Natural Yoghurt
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 175g/6oz golden caster sugar
  • 140g/5oz self raising flour
  • 100g/4oz ground almonds
  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter, meltedMethod:

Method:

  • Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases (muffin sized ones) and heat oven to 190 degrees/gas 5.
  •  
  • In a jug mix the yoghurt, eggs and vanilla extract, put the dry ingredients, plus a pinch of salt into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
  • Add the yoghurty mix and melted butter, and quickly fold in with a spatula or metal spoon – don’t overwork it.  
  • Spoon into the muffin cases (they will be quite full) and bake for 18-20 mins or until golden, risen and springy to the touch.   Cool for a few mins, then lift the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To Decorate:

  • 1 batch white chocolate frosting (see recipe below)
  • 36 simple sugar roses and leaves
  • 2.5m thin ribbon (optional)

White Chocolate Frosting:

  • Melt 100g white chocolate in the microwave on high for 1 1/2 mins, stirring halfway.   Leave to cool.
  • Beat 140g Unsalted butter and 140g Icing Sugar in a large bowl until creamy.
  • Beat in the chocolate.   Cover (can be chilled in the fridge for up to one month)
  • Up to 48 hours before serving (or the day before if its really hot, bring back to room temperature, then spread over the cakes.   Put the ribbon around the cakes now if you like, tying or glueing in place.  Keep cool and out of direct sunlight.

I made them this evening, and will decorate them tomorrow morning when they are completely cooled with the White Chocolate Frosting… providing there are any left!   I have had to throw one to the dogs already because Hovis our Birman cat decided he fancied one… cheeky bloomin cat!  

My son has polished off a couple too and he gave them a score of 10/10, result! .. they do taste good, would most definately make them again 🙂

They have now been put in a safe place 😉

Pink Fudge Topped Fairy Cakes

We had visitors round last night and cakes are always a favourite with the kids, especially when theyre pink, yummy and topped with soft fudge pieces.  

I love to make fairy cakes and try and come up with different toppings each time, so apologies for the overdose of fairy cakes if you follow my blog…

unable to help my self tho’ as they’re sooooo pretty 🙂

You can find the recipe for the basic fairy/cup cakes here..