Cakes & Bakes

Rachel Taylor

Nuts about carrot cake

Cakes and bakes
So we did experience a little skiffle of snow after all! The excitement of the kiddos at school when the first few flakes started falling was infectious.

I know it causes havoc when travelling but there is nothing quite like looking out on a snow covered countryside. It even makes towns and cities look calmer and much more peaceful. Well anyway, it was short lived but nice to look at for the couple of days it was here. Our wee pup hadn’t experienced much icy and snowy weather before and he didn’t quite know what to make of it at first.  I let him out last Friday morning for a run about and he went skidding on his back across the frozen patio at an awful speed. But don’t worry poor wee Buster soon got the hang of it though.

My aunt and uncle took us for a New Year lunch treat on Saturday. We went to the Crannagh Café and Bistro just outside Coleraine.

The caterer from our wedding (Barry from Arbutus Catering) has recently taken over this spot. I went to University in Coleraine for three years and never knew it was there.

It has a lovely setting, right on the banks of the river Bann and the food is just yummy, all freshly prepared with decent sized portions too. We would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a bite to eat in that area.

But on to today’s recipe. As you know I’m always on the lookout for fresh ideas.

I found a new recipe for carrot cake that I wanted to try, I gave it a go and then fixed it up to the way I wanted it.
This version is lovely and nutty, so I hope you enjoy. Happy baking!

• 230g self raising flour
• 230g soft brown sugar
• 150ml sunflower oil
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 and a half teaspoons ground cinnamon
• Half a teaspoon allspice
• Half a teaspoon ground ginger
• 100g pecans or walnuts chopped roughly
• 3 medium carrots, grated
• 3 eggs, beaten

• 300g icing sugar
• 200g cream cheese
• 50g softened butter
• Pecans/walnuts to decorate

• Preheat oven to 160C (fan)
• Grease and line an eight inch cake tin.
• Sift the flour, baking powder and spices together. Mix in the sugar, carrot and nuts until well combined.
• Beat the egg with the oil and add to the mixture. Stir until all the flour is well mixed in.
• Spoon the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for about 50 minutes – one hour or until a skewer comes out clean.
• Turn out onto a cooling rack. Meanwhile make the frosting by whisking the butter with the cream cheese. Then add the icing sugar slowly.
Mix well until it starts to thicken (it is supposed to be a soft, glossy icing)
• When the cake is cool, spoon the icing on top and decorate with remaining nuts.

Tip of the week

Make the icing ahead of time and leave in the fridge until you need it. Also, if you’re not a fan of nuts, just leave them out.  Any special requests, get in touch at the usual address