We get our fruit and veg delivered by The Organic Collective, where we get a box full of random organic, local fruit n veg. Its awesome, its cheap ($37.50 for the 2 of us per week, in total), and its organic, WOOHOO! Anyway this week we got ALOT of carrots! We always get a few carrots but this week we got alot, and I was tired of roasting them, or putting them in a soup, so I decided to take action! Action in the form of Tessa Kiros' Carrot Cake, from Falling Cloudberries, which I havent cooked much from as yet, but we'll get there!
Anyway, 400g of carrot later, Ive definately made a dent in the carrot supplies, which is a relief... as delicious as roasts are, every night? A bit of variety is nice, and its been ages since I baked anything.
I didnt have many walnuts, maybe 20g left so I added a handful of mixed coconut, banana chips and dried pineapple to the batter, which were all pre mixed with the walnuts anyway - Im not fussy about these things, Im not likely to go sorting through the fruit and nut jar to find the lonely walnuts. It all goes in! Those who say baking is an exact science - pish posh, near enough is often good enough!
I decided to make cupcakes rather than a whole cake, as they're easier for my bf and I to take to work etc, and they're in friendlier portions (though, I dont know about you, but it DOES make eating more than one portion weigh much lighter on my concience than 2 slices of cake might!). The recipe calls for the cake to be baked for an hour, these cupcakes are done in about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven... This is much better, I feel less guilty about eating more of them, AND they're baked in half the time. Enough to put a gleam in a gluttons eye!
They came out looking fab - they rose up beautifully (with 3 tsp of baking powder/bicarb, it'd wanna rise up!!) and didnt sink down at all. I obviously couldnt resist trying one straight away, warm, straight out of the oven... Its hard really, for cake fresh out of the oven to taste anything but delicious and that these were, it was to be expected.
After waiting for my bf to come home with cream cheese (with strict instructions which kind to get, where to get it and which ones NOT to get) he came home with the goods, and his parents, always willing cake testers! Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am terminally half arsed. I often take short cuts, dont follow instructions fully and dont measure things out properly. About half the time things go better than expected... sometimes they fall slightly short of the mark and rarely do things totally just roll over and die. Thankfully the icing didnt roll over and die (or taste like someone would rather do that, than eat it) but it did turn out slightly lumpy, because I didnt sift the icing sugar. I had no intention of sifting it, and in turn, ended up with slightly lumpy icing. What of it, it hasnt affected the taste, and considering they're going to be mistreated by being thrown into my lunchbox on a hasty, late exit to school in the mornings, no one will notice or care but me. You'll notice there is one missing... I need not explain what happened to it - it was very nice!
Something quite strange happened though... Something I added into the mix, once it was cooked, underwent some sort of chemical reaction and turned green. I have no idea what, but little flecks of green are now in my carrot cupcakes! They have no taste, and you dont notice it, aside from the random green flecks. If it were banana, I could understand it goes brown and gooey, but carrot? Or maybe the pineapple, the coconut? Did the bicarb react with something? Who knows! It still tastes great. Ill still eat them! It'll take more than random greenness to stop me eating something delicious!! They're moist and quite light... with almost half a kilo of carrots in there you wouldnt be far off the mark to say they're almost healthy!! We wont talk about the 2 cups of sugar...... Regardless, here is the recipe for you guys to have a try!
4 eggs, lightly beaten
250g caster sugar
185ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
400g carrots, peeled and grated
55g chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting:
180g butter, softened
250g icing sugar
180g cream cheese
3 drops vanilla extract
Walnut halves to decorate (optional)
Preheat oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas4. Grease and flour a 24 cm springform tin or bundt pan. Whisk eggs and sugar until creamy, then whisk in the oil. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon. Add this to the eggs and whisk. Add the carrots and nuts and mix together. Scrape into tin and bake for an hour. Once the cake has cooled; For the icing whip the butter and icing sugar together until its stiff. Beat in the cream cheese and vanilla. Spread over the cake.