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Carrot Cake

by Bryony Harrison (follow)
Poems on the Page: tinyurl.com/pgyyx76
Afternoon Tea (359)      Cakes (149)      Carrot (58)      Carrots (45)      Sultanas (20)      Quark (1)     
Don't worry, it may look a bit sloppy, but that's because I took the picture before the icing set.

Carrot cake is favourite tea time treat, but it was no always so popular. It's first appearance was greeted rather tentatively. A vegetable? In a cake? You've got to be kidding? Today, we are still sceptical about vegetables in cakes, but with carrots we seem to consider them a traditional ingredient. So just where did carrot cake come from?

During the Medieval period, Europeans used to eat carrot pudding, which involved cooking carrots in boiling honey and nut oil until it thickened. The concept of using carrots for dessert was revived during World War Two when sugar and fruits were scarce or rationed. At first this was just considered a poor substitute, but I guess people got used to it, and eventually began to start liking it. Carrot cake was made as a 'healthy' treat, but thats not really true; carrots may be healthy, but so are dates, and no one would claim that sticky toffee pudding was good for you.

Healthy or not, carrot cake is a national (and personal favourite). There are an endless number of variations to the recipe, with the option to include fruit, use different spices, and choose the type of topping you want. Here's my version. Based on the brands I used, each slice is about 156 calories.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 10 servings

200g wholemeal self-raising flour
50g soft dark brown sugar
15g Xylitol sweetener (or caster sugar if you prefer)
2 large eggs
200g carrots
100g sultanas

1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 orange
1 tbsp lemon juice
200g quark
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pre-heat the oven to 170 ༠C/ 150 ༠C fan/325 ༠F/3 Gas.
Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon together.
Beat the eggs with brown sugar, then beat in the flour.

Zest the orange and grate the carrots, then mix in with the sultanas, and mix into the cake mixture.
Spoon the mixture into a loaf tin and bake.
Juice the orange and mix in with the lemon juice.
Pierce holes in the top of the cakes and pour the juice over it.
Beat the quark, vanilla extract, and sweetener/sugar together, then spread it over the cake and allow it to set in the fridge.

#Afternoon Tea
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