Thursday, 11 August 2011

Thursday night's eclectic mix! Curry and Cake

This week it is my turn on my work's baking rota.  Given our "healthy" mission at the moment, I've managed to fool myself into thinking carrot cake is healthy cake.  It does contain a vegetable!  So while Joe was out running (again!) I busied myself making a carrot cake (recipe below) and sprucing up the curry left over from the other day.

We had turkey and lentil curry and a vegetable side of spiced carrots and peas, which was the surprise treat of the meal.  It wasn't meant to be as hot as it was, but I used a chilli kindly donated by Jo (another one, I know), from Joe's work.  She grows them on her allotment which is very impressive and it had an unexected kick!  She has given us some potatoes and green beans, so expect to see them featured over the next few days.

On another note, on Monday 14th August, Joe and I are off to Jamie's Italian for a free night of food and wine.  We get to sample anti pasti and pasta along with some lovely wine, which sounds fab - pictures next week!

Jo from Joe's work's tasty homegrown veg  - thank you!

spruced up curry including coriander grown on the kitchen window sill.
Curry, spiced vegetables and naan.  Perfect for a Thursday!
 Carrot Cake Recipe

250ml sunflower or light olive oil
225g caster sugar
3 eggs
225g self raising flour
grated nutmeg
250g grated carrots  (by the way, 250g carrots is more effort than you think - give yourself some time!)  Also, I'd advise squeezing some of the moisture out of the carrots or you will have quite a squigy cake!
pinch bicarb
pinch baking powder


This recipe has been adapted from one on the channel 4 website (which appears to be aimed at children - probably gives you an idea of my baking prowess!) which you can access here.

1.  Heat your oven to 180 degrees (160 for a fan oven) or equivalent for gas. Grease and line a tin approx 16cm by 26cm.
2.  Put the oil and the caster sugar into a bowl and whisk for a few minutes until well combined.
3.  Add the eggs to that mixture one at a time, whisking in between.  The mixture should notably thicken with each egg.
4.  Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarb and nutmeg into the bowl.  The amount of nutmeg will depend on your taste, but avoid putting in too much because it can become overpowering (and a bit nasty).  
5.  Fold in the sifted flour and other ingredients with a metal spoon.
6.  Fold in the grated carrots and make sure everything is combined but don't overmix!
7.  Pour the mixture into the tin and cook for 40 minutes.  It should rise and be nice and golden, and a skewer should come out nice and clean.
8.  Leave to cool for a few minutes, and then remove the cake onto a cooling rack.

When it's cool, ice as you wish.  Lots of people suggest cream cheese icing, or butter icing, but I have gone for lime water icing (lime juice and lime zest with icing sugar, mixed til runny enough to pour).  This is largely because I am rubbish at icing cakes (as demonstrated below), but also because I fancied being a bit old school!

Me grating carrots.  Excuse the expression but I'd been at it for a long time by then.  I think we might need a new grater!

The finished product, which is undervalued by this picture - it looks awesome!

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