Me time (with added tea & cakes)
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The last week or so have passed in a bit of a blur, various things, but I was determined to take some time out, some me time, and do something away from the computer, away from the kids and away from the hubs. So, I decided to do some baking, alone. When I say alone, I think it’s been documented a few times on here that I like to bake cakes & cook without the kids ‘helping’ me. I know, I know. Bad mummy and all that! Blah!
As it’s almost Valentines day, and we’re off to Paris in 18 days (who’s counting!?) we’ve decided we’re not doing presents here, saving that for France, I thought I’d bake a cake the man likes, rather than one that the kids request, and, being a man, there was no chocolate involved. At. All. Weirdo. He requested a carrot cake! I have never, ever baked a carrot cake in my life, but I thought why the hell not.
Anyway. I hit Tesco nice and early, and I mean, nice and early, it was practically empty. If I could get my backside out of bed at that time every morning I might be tempted to do my weekly shop then, but I can’t.
Once the kids were deposited at school and I’d hit the usual social media channels, I got to it. It’s a pretty simple recipe to follow, the only thing that threw me a little was the carrot part, there is a lot of liquid in grated carrots, so I squeezed out some but I probably could have done with getting rid of a little more.
150g soft brown sugar
150ml sunflower oil
150g self raising flour, sifted
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp of ground ginger
1/4 tsp of salt
a drop (or two) of vanilla extract
150g carrots, grated
50g chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Icing
300g icing sugar (sifted)
50g unsalted butter
125g cream cheese
Heat the oven to 170C or Gas mark 3. Put 12 cupcake cases into a cupcake tray.
Beat together the eggs, sugar and sunflower oil, until combined. Slowly mix in the self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
Fold in the carrots and walnuts and spoon into cupcake cases until 2/3.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes, before transferring to a wire cooling rack. (I added an extra 5-8mins because of the moisture from the carrots)
Once cool, you can make the cream cheese icing. Beat together the room temperature butter with the cream cheese, slowly adding the sifted icing sugar.
Spread the icing over each cake, decorating with some chopped walnuts if you want to. I did some with & some without as the boy is anti nuts. I won’t tell him there are some inside the cakes!
Easy! It is a messy recipe I won’t lie! My hands are still stained orange from the carrots, and it probably wasn’t a good idea to do the grating with my left hand (twice as long!) but I had no choice. It would also probably be helpful if your electric whisk didn’t keep flying off the handle (literally) I really need to convince the man to get me a Kitchen Aid! Imagine the cakes I could make….!
The end result is a really moist (hate that word) light cupcake. I’m wondering if I could vary the icing on top, maybe add some lemon zest/juice to it to give it a bit of a lift. Has anyone ever made carrot cake with chocolate icing? Does that even go, or is it too much of a flavour combination?
As sad as this may sound, going back to Flinstone time or whatever, but I actually really enjoyed baking these, I had my music blasting out, the house to myself and I’m quite proud of my little cakes! The boy even said if I can’t manage to make the Captain America cake for his birthday (panic) then these would be good! I can’t imagine a room full of 4 & 5 year olds appreciating carrot cake, but it’s the thought that counts eh?!
Oh, and have a look at this last pic. Does anyone else think my dog thinks I’m a messy cook by any chance? He was my shadow the whole time I was baking, like a Dyson with four legs. Don’t think you went un-noticed Lenny!