Carrot cake is the marmite of cakes – people either love it or they hate it. I’m a strange one, a carrot cake convert we might say. I never used to like it (perhaps I thought all carrot cake tasted very carrot-y?) but was 100% converted by this recipe. It is now one of my go-to’s if I fancy making a quick cake.
Even better, I think I’ve really cracked making a cake gluten, wheat and dairy free without people being able to tell. I can boldly say this as I did quite a few taste tests on people at work and no one could tell the difference. I have a colleague who is unable to eat gluten or wheat, so often I’ve been put off bringing my baking to work knowing how it feels to be the one missing out. However, I thought this would be a great recipe to attempt switching the flour for an alternative because, as far as cakes go, carrot cakes have a relatively low amount of flour in them as they are also held together by the carrot. I used Doves Farm’s gluten and wheat free self raising flour and I have to say I was pleased and amazed at the results. I will definitely be making them again and trying some different cake recipes with the flour.
This carrot cake has an interesting mix of ingredients, but do give it a try as they work perfectly together. The sultanas are bursts of sweetness throughout the cake, a good contrast to the crunch of the walnuts; and the coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg compliment the sweet carrot flavour to make the cake very aromatic.
The recipe also calls for quite a lot of carrots, so choose your carrots carefully based on how carrot-y you like your carrot cake. It is quite simple… If you want a stronger carrot flavour, use fresh carrots – the lovely bright orange juicy ones. If you don’t want a very carrot-y carrot cake, use older carrots – the slightly duller in colour and drier ones. Like I said, simples! Continue reading
So this week, as I’ve been talking about my blog at work, I was challenged to come in with some office treats. I think I definitely overstretched myself on a Wednesday evening!
For in I came with a made up concoction – Chocolate caramel cake, topped with caramel icing and salted pecan brittle. I agree – even I was impressed that I managed that all in an evening after work… The end result was great though – a light, moist chocolate sponge, buttery (although made without normal butter!) sweet caramel buttercream icing, with a crunchy piece of nutty brittle on top – delightful. And the best comment from a friend who tried it – they would never have guessed or been able to tell it was dairy free. Music to my ears!
I will admit that I had to do the caramel sauce for the icing twice. The first time my thoughts were on dinner so I overcooked it slightly… and in the bin it went! Also, having neglected to properly check ingredients, I did not see that I only had about a third of the required amount of cocoa powder, so a certain amount of improvisation was needed that I would not do again. I added 60g of a dark 80% chocolate bar which I thought would compensate, but the resulting sponge was not chocolatey enough my colleges and I decided.
The pecan brittle was a real first attempt, and worked surprisingly well. It was just on the right side of burnt – with a smokiness that cut through the usual sugary sweetness of brittles. I have though bought myself a sugar thermometer for next time to ensure it doesn’t go to the wrong side of burnt 🙂
Chocolate Caramel Cupcake with Salted Pecan Brittle