Spring is here!
It’s official: I have a bunch of daffodils in my living room, my window boxes are flourishing, and spent Saturday afternoon enjoying my first pub garden experience of 2012!
There is something magical about this time of year. Everything starts coming to life, the days are longer, and the prospect of cleaning becomes a fun part of the season rather than a dull chore – I had to convince myself that scrubbing my flat with bleach on my birthday, even though I have the day off work AND we’re going away for the weekend so it would have time to air out, was not the most appropriate way to spend the day!
To top it off, there’s still the right about of chill in the air to warrant the odd evening watching TV under a duvet.
It’s also cool enough to not mind having the oven on for over an hour and a half to make this delicious cake.
I’ve always been put off making carrot cake, even though I love it, because of the use of oil instead of butter. There’s something about the act of pouring oil into a jug, feeling it glug out of the bottle that is inherently unappealing. That’s one of the benefits of baking with friends; they help you get over your baking fears. For this, Lauren deserves a medal as she’s already helped me face up to making macarons and now carrot cake too!
from BBC Good Food
300g plain flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarb of soda
200g soft brown sugar
zest of an orange and a lemon
200g carrots grated
150g walnuts (optional I didn’t use them)
227g tin of pineapple pieces, drained (optional again I didn’t use them)
250g tub of cream cheese
3 tbsp icing sugar
orange zest to decorate
Preheat the oven to 150C and line a 10cm deep 20cm pan – this cake rises a lot!
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, and in a separate bowl whisk the wet ingredients.
Stir the carrots into the wet ingredients, then fold in the flour.
Pour into a tin, and bake for 1hr 20mins.
I chose to cheat with the icing, for the original recipe see the BBC Good Food site. If you’re lazy like me, mix 3 tbsp of icing sugar into a tub of cream cheese and leave to cool and re-set.
When the cake has cooled, spread the cream cheese over the top and decorate with orange zest.
Alternatively, if you just can’t wait (and my guests and I can count ourselves among those impatient people), spoon the topping onto slices of warm cake, as you would cream cheese on toast, and enjoy with mugs of tea.