I got this lovely recipe out of “Sarah Brown’s Vegetarian Kitchen”, a book I bought seriously years ago. It has been languishing in the drawer in the kitchen for a while (most of my recipe books, are actually taking up a cupboard’s floor space (and some) in my bedroom…) and I decided last week to try something a little bit different instead of coffee & walnut cake, and this was one of them.
- ½lb (225g) Plain Flour (this can be normal, wheatmeal or wholemeal)
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
- ½ tablespoon Baking Powder
- 4oz (110g) Butter (or Margarine)
- 4oz (110g) Honey
- 4oz (110g) Sugar
- ½lb (225g) Carrots, peeled and finely grated
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3 (325°F, 170°C, 150° (Fan));
- Grease a 1lb (450g) Loaf Tin;
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder);
- Put the butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan and melt over a low heat;
- Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well until everything is combined;
- Stir in the finely grated carrots;
- Pour the mixture into the tin and pop in the oven;
- Cook for 60-80 minutes until the mixture feels firm to the touch and a skewer, when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean;
- Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, the turn out onto a cooling rack;
What happened when I did it!
- Well, the first thing, is I clearly didn’t read the recipe clearly enough (must use my glasses more often) as I only added ½ teaspoon of baking powder, not ½ tablespoon – that could be the reason it felt very ‘heavy’!
- I also always use light brown sugar instead of caster sugar. I also think that if you want to use fruit sugar, it would work just as well just remember to only use 2/3 of the amount).
- I didn’t have any nutmeg in the cupboard – or rather I did but it was seriously out-of-date, so it got binned – so I replaced this with 1 teaspoon of ginger.
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon does make for a very heavily spiced cake – so if cinnamon is not a particular favourite, you could always use half the cinnamon and replace the remainder with mixed spice, or ginger! Cinnamon does have an enormous range of health benefits, so this could be said to be a ‘healthy cake’ – would one of those really exist?
- An alternative – which is the route I took – was to top the cake with an orange buttercream frosting (recipe below). This actually helped to cool down the spiciness of the cinnamon, and it tasted great 😉
Orange Buttercream Frosting
- 35g Butter (or margarine)
- 20ml Milk
- 1 teaspoon orange extract (or orange juice)
- 166g Icing Sugar
These are approximate guidelines, as I reduced a recipe by a third!
Chuck everything into a bowl and mix with an electric beater – or a spoon, until smooth and creamy 😉
When I need my stress levels reduced…I bake.
When I feel stressed, worried, anxious, a bit low, or any combination of these and others I find it helps to bake a cake.
Or in the case of today 3!
I have a lot on my mind at the moment!
Anyway – I more than replenished the cake supply, so hopefully there should be no grumblings in this house for a while!
But I digress.
I made a simple fruit cake – called a “Cut and Come Again” cake.
I had had this years ago at a friend’s house and she gave me the recipe which I long since lost, but today I thought I would try something different to cupcakes and managed to find a recipe posted onto Saint Delia Smith’s website by someone – it is not a Delia recipe.
It was seriously easy to make, smells amazing and tastes fab 😉
So, here you go recipe for “Cut and Come Again” cake:
- 12oz (340g) Self-Raising Flour
- 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
- 6oz (170g) Soft Margarine
- 6oz (170g) Caster Sugar
- 3 eggs
- 6oz (170g) Sultanas
- 4oz (113g) Currants (or chopped nuts if you prefer)
- 4oz (113g) Raisins
- 3 tablespoons Milk
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C (Fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F
- Grease and line a 20cm/8inch round cake tin
- Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl, or food mixer
- Beat well until thoroughly mixed
- Pour mixture into tin and level the top
- Bake for about 1-1¼ hours (until skewer comes out clean)
- Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes then turn out, peel off paper and cool on a wire rack.
- Make a cup of tea and enjoy!
My Findings on Making the Cake
- This was a seriously easy cake to make – anyone can do it – from measuring out the ingredients to pouring into the cake tin literally took less than 10 minutes!
- I never use Caster Sugar in baking I always use soft brown sugar – only because I believe it is less refined and therefore slightly healthier – big emphasis on the slightly, after all it is still sugar! (I have tried fruit sugar alternative when I made cupcakes, total disaster, but that might work better with this recipe as well)
- I mixed all the ingredients, EXCEPT the fruit, first with my electric whisk for about 3/4 minutes, and then I added the fruit and mixed for a further minute – for me this seemed more logical, as you can see that everything has been mixed easier than if you have small dried fruit bits floating about!
- I put the cake in for 1 hour initially, then checked with the skewer, then I cooked for a further 5 minutes and the skewer came out clean. Everyone’s ovens are different and I would advise 1 hour first and then 5 minute intervals. For those that don’t know about the skewer test, it is purely to see if the cake is cooked – put a clean skewer into the middle of the cake, down to the bottom – if the skewer comes out with cake mixture on you can see that the mixture is still not quite cooked, if it comes out clean your cake is ready.
- This cake tastes extremely good when you are sat down with your feet up and a large mug of tea 😉
As September approaches with alarming speed (where has this year gone?) my thoughts turn to my hands.
For reasons unbeknown to me, no matter how much cream I plaster onto them from the middle of September through to pretty much the end of June my hands get as rough as a fisherman (and no the Norwegian hand cream doesn’t work, tried it), and they crack to the point of bleeding. And yes, I wear gloves, dry my hands properly, etc.
I’ve tried everything;
- Hand cream
- Olive oil and brown sugar
- Manuka Honey
The only one that came pretty close was the olive oil and brown sugar exfoliant mixture, followed by smothering my hands in olive oil. Maybe if I start it now, my hands won’t crack up!
The thing that struck me as I perused the hand cream aisle in the pharmacists was the notice on a lot of products “contains 10% urea”.
Now, isn’t urea a component of urine?
If so, maybe I should just try peeing on my hands?
Isn’t that a tasteful thought?
Seriously though, if anyone has any recommendations I’d be ever so grateful.