This is the cake that brought me back to baking.
In my very early days, my friend Monica and I would always enjoy baking. Guided by our mothers, encouraged by our fathers and emboldened by our sisters.
However, when I flew the nest my attention was diverted to something completely different and all consuming, so for years I didn’t bake a thing. Actually, I very rarely ate a cake until I moved back up North, where tea and cake are as important as air and water. Well, nearly.
It was only then that I realised what I had been missing, but still, I may have partaken, but didn’t create.
That is, until I decided to make a carrot cake.
In my opinion there are waves of zeitgeist cakes. We are just coming out of a ‘cupcake’ phenomenon. Having danced merrily around the ‘tiffin’ (please, I know, it’s awful but some people insist on using it) or ‘rocky road’ explosion. But prior to all that, there was the entrance of the carrot cake.
Now obviously people have been putting vegetables into cakes for millennia, but the re-emergence of the coffee shop and it’s nibbles, created the perfect waters for the carrot cake to sail on, which it duly did until it was everywhere you would expect it to be.
Circumstances developed which put me in a position of needing to hold a formal (ish) party, and it was these circumstances that encouraged me to reignite my passion. So I delved into the internet and began researching carrot cake.
As a consequence, I have my favourite carrot cake recipe now safely written in an old recipe book which was my mother’s, and yesterday, I made the cake for another very special woman in mine and my family’s life. My mother-in-law.
This is what you’ll need:
12oz carrots – grated, 2oz pecans – chopped
Put all the following into a bowl:
4oz wholemeal self raising flour and 4oz wholemeal plain flour, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, I teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
Then you’ll need:
8floz vegetable oil, 6oz light soft brown sugar, 4 eggs, 2 tablespoons golden syrup. Whisk all these together.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then add the carrot and pecans. Stir and pop into a prepared tin for 1 hour, gas mark 3.
Now here’s a thing. Our lovely friends across the pond have something called a frosting which is a buttercream icing with added cream cheese. And here’s where you need to be careful. If you buy a cream cheese which is the shop’s own brand, you may find that it is not as thick as a better known brand and will, therefore, make the frosting runny.
And I know this because I keep making the same mistake.
With that in mind you will need:
7oz cream cheese, 2os softened butter, 2oz icing sugar and a flavour. I use vanilla extract, but lemon or orange juice would be just as delicious.
Mix it up and plonk on top of the cake.
It is mighty fine, and I have to say, well worth making for the ones you love.