Friday, 13 April 2012

Miss A's Sunny Carrot Cake

Today's recipe was a little bit unplanned.  I'd intended to do fajitas for tea for the hubby and try Thomasina Miers' Spring Tacos myself.  But when I finished work just after midday, I discovered that Miss A had been waiting to cook since 9am (hands washed, sleeves rolled up, apron on) and Daddy had promised that Mummy would help cook as soon as she finished work.

Sunny carrot cake
So we made up our own carrot cake - inspired by a similar recipe from CBeebies 'I Can Cook' - and adapted with the help of Dan Lepard.

I wanted to make it healthy-ish so alongside the carrots and pineapple, I used both regular and wholemeal flour and I included some finely ground oats - an addition I picked up from Lepard's Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake earlier this week.  From the mixture, we made eight average sized muffins plus a 1lb loaf cake.  The muffins were baked for 25 minutes, the loaf cake for 40.  Or you could turn it into a 2lb loaf cake - I guess that would take about an hour to cook.

After portioning out the muffins, I suddenly realised I should've included some stem ginger as I had a jar in the fridge.  So the loaf has ginger in.  The muffins don't.  Both are equally tasty so the ginger is an optional ingredient.

The muffins will be frozen so Miss A can have them in her lunch box once in a while.  The loaf cake was topped with ginger cream cheese frosting and will no doubt be devoured by the husband later tonight.

Multi-tasking :)
  • 125g plain flour
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g fine oatmeal (or rolled oats, blitzed in a blender)
  • 3 balls of stem ginger - optional
  • 1 tbsp syrup from stem ginger jar - optional
  • 1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 90g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g carrots, finely grated
  • 250g tinned crushed pineapple (or use regular tinned pineapple and break up with your fingers or in a blender)
For the cream cheese icing (optional)
  • 125g icing sugar, sifted
  • 20g butter, softened
  • 20g cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp stem ginger syrup (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan.  Either line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases or grease and line a loaf tin.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and oil until light and fluffy.  Mix in the eggs until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the carrots and pineapple to the mix and stir well.  Add the ginger and ginger syrup if using.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice into a separate bowl.  Add the oatmeal and mix well.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the egg and butter mixture and mix until well combined.  Portion into the cake cases or pour into the loaf tin.
  6. Bake until risen and golden.  Approx times - 25 minutes for muffins, 40 mins for 1lb loaf, 60 mins for 2lb loaf.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for fifteen minutes before placing on a cooling rack until cold.
  8. For the icing - sift the icing sugar into a bowl.  Add the cream cheese and butter and beat until well combined.  Add the ginger syrup if using and mix thoroughly.  Refrigerate for at least fifteen minutes as this makes it easier to spread.

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