Carrots in a Blender

So, to make this you need a blender large enough to hold a whole tub of cake mix. This isn’t a serious problem for me and Mr Chopper, who has a rather large belly. If your blender isn’t big enough then you can remove everything after a bit and continue with a hand mixer. or you can grate the carrots and chop up the pineapple and crush the walnuts separately, like in a normal recipe. Or you can do your chopping in shifts, and mix everything up in a big bowl with a spoon at the end. I think that’d be how I would do it without my faithful friend.

Obligatory prep photo

I just really liked how everything was originally done in a single bowl. You know that one bowl recipes are my favourite.

Icing prep

Also, this cake is so vege-packed that it’s almost a salad. Coleslaw, to be exact, what with all the shredded carrots. Healthy cake.

My dog likes (to play with) carrots

You would eat a salad as a meal. Hence, if this cake = salad, and salad potentially = lunch or dinner, therefore cake = lunch or dinner.

I haven’t included breakfast because I feel absolutely no guilt about eating cake for breakfast.

Here is my pretty, in her lumpy glory

I do dread the day when the thunderthighs come to claim me. In the mean time, let us, with this cake, toast to the strength of the gates of Tartarus.

Sorry bad photo, will upload a nicer one next time

Healthy-as-Coleslaw Carrot Cake

Adapted, barely, from Quirky Cooking. Awesome idea, I love cakes that you can just mix and pour.

200g carrots – peeled and quartered
300g pineapple chunks – if canned, drain well
2 large eggs
40g oil
1 teasp vanilla essence
90g honey
190g flour
1 teasp cinnamon
2 teasp baking soda
¾ teasp salt
75g walnuts, whole OR equivalent weight shredded coconut
40g raisins

Oven temperature: 165 degrees C, for an hour to an hour and a half. Cupcakes only take about 30 to 40 minutes.
Yield: 1 bundt cake, or 12 cupcakes.  Or a large loaf. Don’t use a regular cake tin, or the middle of the cake won’t cook properly. Instead, flour a small glass or ramkin and place it in the middle of the tin.

  1. Grease / flour bundt tin.
  2. Dump the following in a blender for about 5 seconds, and chop until it reaches the texture of grated carrot – carrot, pineapple (if using fresh), eggs, oil, honey, vanilla. Remove and set aside if your blender has a small capacity, otherwise just leave it in the blender.
  3. Blend the following on high for about 5 seconds – flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, walnuts / coconut, pineapple (if using canned).
  4. If you have set aside your carrot mixture, now is the time to mix in the flour et al, pretty thoroughly. Then mix in the raisins.
  5. Bake! Then set aside until it cools / chill it.

Eating suggestion: wait for the cake to cool fully before eating, or put it in the fridge for a bit. This is a super moist cake, so if you don’t do this it will be a little wobbly on the inside.

Orange Cream Cheese Honey Icing 

Adapted from Janie Turner and Sam Joffe in “Fast and Easy Cooking”.

1 tablesp granulated sugar
Rind of 1 large unwaxed orange, thin peelings of skin only – or any other citrus fruit
300g cream cheese, softened
15 – 30g runny honey

Yield: the top of one 8” cake.

  1. Blend granulated sugar with  the orange peelings to get them to squish together.
  2. Add cream cheese and honey, keep blending for about 20 seconds.
  3. If you like, after this you can whisk at medium speed for about 30 seconds to get a fluffier icing. The blender has taken most of the work out of this so you don’t need to do it for long.

Rich Scones from the Olden Days

My favourite baking book is a really old book. If I was cooler, I’d probably call it vintage. It originally belonged to my grandmother (who I’ve never met), who was apparently a fabulous cook. My grandfather passed the book on to my mum, who isn’t all that keen on having kitchen adventures. So, it lay dormant in a kitchen drawer for quite a  long time, until a few years ago when I picked it up, primarily out of curiosity. Such an old, small book seemed out of place between the rest of the shiny, picture-filled books that my family had collected over the years.

Home Recipes with Be-Ro Flour, 37th EditionI’ve found that this is one of the few books which reliably results in desserts that work. Remember that this is No Mean Feat for me.

In the preparatory stageBy the way, the batter tastes goodFluffy, milky, and light

You can find the recipes in this book online at Bero Flour, but I like using the old book. Maybe the fact that it’s my grandmother’s book prevents me from doing creative things, like altering recipes – I’ve heard she was pretty strict. It’s probably psychological.

Fluffy No-Fail Rich Scones

From Home Recipes with Be-Ro Flour, 37th Edition. I only changed the measurements a little, because in that edition there was some confusion between the gram-oz conversion for the flour. You can find it online here.

Makes 10 full size scones, or 25-39 mini scones.

225g / 8oz self-raising flour – I used gluten free flour, no problem
50g / 2oz margarine – I used spreadable butter, which was fine
25g / 1oz castor sugar
50g / 2oz currents, raisins, or sultanas – I used closer to 80g, but I think it doesn’t matter that much
1 medium egg, beaten with enough milk to make 150ml of liquid
A pinch of salt

Oven temperature: 220 degrees C

  1. Line a baking tray with paper.
  2. Mix the flour and salt, and rub in the margarine. Keep rubbing until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Make sure the margarine is cold, it’ll make your life easier. Cut it into little cubes before starting to rub it in to the flour with your fingers.
  3. Mix in the sugar and currants/raisins/sultanas.
  4. Beat the egg into the milk, and pour in most of it. Save a little for the tops of the scones (a couple of tablespoons is fine). Stir it in with a spoon, and when it starts to come together, use your hands to mush everything in. Keep going until the mixture comes together. It will look pretty shaggy and craggy because of the milk.
  5. Be-Ro says you should knead the dough on a floured surface at this point, and use cutters to cut out scone shapes. If you can, good for you! My dough is usually a bit wet, perhaps because of the heat. Instead, I make sure everything is well mixed in the bowl and has come together in a loose ball. Then, I use a spoon to drop scone batter onto the baking paper. I then use my fingers to shape each ball into a round, and flatten the top.
    1. For mini scones, I usually use a teaspoon sized ball. I’ve found that a lot of people are scared of scones because they aren’t familiar with how to eat them, and they aren’t that sweet. Usually people are willing to eat a mini-sized scone, after which they are hooked.
    2. For full sized scones, I’d probably use a tablespoon or two of batter. Full sized scones are nice too because you get more of the fluffy inside parts.
  6. Brush the tops with the remainder of the egg-milk mixture, and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Mini scones need about 8 minutes, depending on how thick you make them.