I don’t know why, but I have developed an anti-taste for carrots. I used to love them and found it weird that Dad wasn’t a fan… and now I’ve joined him! But sometimes I’ll come home from the shops with a 1kg bag of carrots, use a few in something or other, and then end up with the rest in the fridge for quite a while! Enter the humble carrot cake!
- Mini carrot cupcakes at uni. They were meant to be given away but I ended up eating most. Oops.
I didn’t think about it when I started mixing up the batter for this cake, but having a fibrous base meant that the texture didn’t change significantly when using my gluten-free flour mix! I’ve been lucky so far with my substitutes, first opera cake jaconde (predominantly almond flour) and now carrot cake! I think I might even be able to make this one sugar-free and low-carb with a few more rounds of tweaking.
The recipe I used came from based on the Australian Women’s Weekly Afternoon Tea book – the same one as that I used to make the lime macarons. I tweaked it a little – replacing half of the brown sugar in the recipe with Natvia. I felt it tasted a little sweet, but I’m still getting to know Natvia. The best thing about making them mini-sized, is that they only take 1tsp of batter each, so it’s unlikely others would notice the sweetness unless they had a few of them!
Mmmm… doughnuts with caramel sauce (not in picture)
Baking Society is the only student society I’ve ever really been involved with across all my years at uni, and there’s been a lot of them! We have regular meetings, where we have a theme and bring something to share. The theme for this meeting was caramel – we had doughnuts with caramel sauce, caramelised popcorn, cupcakes with caramel sauce (and chocolate icing), and apple cake. No caramel there, but I was responsible for that – I had made it to take to a picnic on Saturday, but it was far too fragile, so it ended up at Monday’s meeting instead!
Cupcakes with caramel sauce and chocolate icing
My apple cake
My apple cake was a bit of a disaster (using Stephanie Alexander’s Aunt Elva’s apple cakerecipe from her Cook’s Companion book) but apparently it tasted nice. Like the apple muffins, these contained plenty of gluten and apples! The pastry was essentially butter and flour and it was meant to be very stiff, but I found it difficult to work with. I didn’t make a note of what my kitchen environment was like, so I have no idea if humidity or an overly warm environment contributed to the pain of a cake. I’ve resolved to never make it again as I wasn’t happy with how fiddly the pastry was!