One of my birthday presents this year was a subscription to a year’s worth of flowers. Around the middle of the month, I come home to a long flat box full of blooms and have the joy of discovering what they selection is this time and deciding how best to arrange them. (I’m not a natural florist – I do follow the instructions included in the box!) They were a gift from Jef to help brighten up my 37th year. Why am I telling you this, except as an excuse to include a very beautiful picture of yellow and purple flowers? Because it’s one of the many ways in which I’m lucky:I have a lovely and supportive other half who does things like that. In fact, I’m luck to have a small but perfectly formed group of very supportive people, most of whom are reading this.
So, supportive folks, I’d better let you know – I’ve extended the registration for my PhD. I know, I’m sorry. But for various reasons this was again necessary – and the biggest one was time. With all the time I took off last year / early this year, there was just no way I could realistically complete by the end of June without taking the next month off work and that’s not going to happen. So, I’m now planning on completing in October. The OU have been fantastic and they seems as keen to get me to the end of this process as I am to get there – and that’s very, very keen.
So, please put the champagne back on ice if you would, and forgive me for keeping you all hanging around for EVEN longer!
Today’s baking is pretty much a direct lift of a recipe by another blog-writing baker – I feel a bit funny about doing that and copying/pasting the recipe here… it’s different if it’s a more faceless recipe site. Sorry, Butcher, Baker Blog – I hope you don’t mind. Last night’s feedback suggests that these may be some of the best cakes I’ve ever made – and certainly the most moist and unctuous.
Carrot & Ginger Cakes
Makes 6 cupcake sized cakes, original recipe here.
The original recipe is brilliant but I can’t resist fiddling with things. The changes to the method and the recipe in italics are mine 🙂
For the cakes
- 1 egg
- 70ml rapeseed oil
- 100g soft dark sugar
- 150g finely grated carrots
- 50g raisins
- 2 tbs ginger liqueur
- 90g self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
For the ginger cheesecake icing
- 30g cream cheese
- 30g butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 40g ginger preserve
- 130g icing sugar
- Carrot decorations to garnish
- The day before, soak the raisins in the ginger liqueur.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150º. Put 6 cupcake cases in a deep cupcake/muffin tin.
- In a bowl beat the egg then stir in the rapeseed oil, sugar and carrots then the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and the two gingers. Yes the mixture looks really rather sloppy and unappetising at this stage but stick with it.
- Fill each cupcake case 2/3 full with the mixture. Bake for 30min until cakes are risen and cooked through. Remove from tin and allow to cool.
- To make the icing beat together the cream cheese and softened butter until well combined then stir in the orange extract and ginger curd. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until you soft, smooth icing. Spoon the icing on to the cakes. Add a sugar carrot to garnish.
- As this icing contains cream cheese if that cakes are not being eaten within a few hours of being made it’s worth them being kept in the fridge especially during hot weather.