Since I was a little girl, having a birthday in the Summer was always a blessing. Best chance of good weather and not having school being two of those impeccable bonuses. By far the pinnacle, though, is the fact that I was never in the country. I was always off camping somewhere with my family, and I loved that I was never in the same place. Being from an incredibly far-spread brood, I really do appreciate the fact that I was educated and given the opportunity to travel pretty much my entire life, instead of being spoiled with material things.
What does this have to do with my humble site? Well, nothing really, except that this particular post is about birthdays. My birthday in particular. I’m not one for mega-celebrations or presents, I’m happy to just go about my day as normal, and if I manage to bake a cake somewhere along the line then it is an incredibly good day, and a general success. Yes, I like baking my own birthday cake, when I told people, they seemed to think it was quite peculiar? Personally, I love the idea. I get to practice what I love, I get to bake exactly what I want, and I actually get to eat it too. What’s not to adore?
Anyway, onwards because I’m rambling away. I made a carrot cake a little while ago, and I had this incredible craving. That’s pretty much just the story. So, behold. The only recipe I will ever need for carrot cake. It is beautifully spiced and packed full of deliciousness. Good old Delia’s recipe, edited a little bit.
The Ghost of Delia’s Carrot Cake
For the cake:
170g dark brown soft sugar
3 small eggs
150ml sunflower oil
200g wholemeal self-raising flour
3 tsp mixed spice
1 level tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g peeled and grated carrot (it’s about 1 and a half large carrots)
110g sultanas, soaked in boiling water and well drained (dried with a clean, dry tea towel)
70g walnuts, chopped
Zest of 1 orange
For the syrup and icing:
500g marscapone, (NB:- take it out the fridge when you start making the cake and it will be malleable enough to work with by the time you get to the icing stage)
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
1 good tsp cinnamon
1 tblsp golden caster sugar
75g dark brown soft sugar
– Preheat the oven to 170C/160C (fan)/gas mark 3 and line two sandwich tins with greaseproof paper and grease the sides.
– For the cake – place the eggs, oil and sugar together in a bowl and whisk for 2 or 3 minutes, until it stars to look like slightly runny treacle.
– Sift in the flour, spices and bicarb and fold it in gently. When you get to the stage where is about 3 quarters mixed in, add in all the other ingredients and fold them in. I find it knocks less air out of the mixture and it rises better if you don’t completely mix in the dry ingredients, then add the bulky bits.
– Divide between the tins, make sure you flatten them well, and bake for 30 minutes.
– To make the syrup, simply put the dark brown soft sugar, orange and lemon juice, and set aside until the cake is cooked.
– When it’s all beautiful and springy, take it out the oven, poke a few holes in with a skewer and drizzle the syrup over the top. And leave to cool mostly in the tins. It is very unlikely it’ll stick to the sides of the tin, so you don’t have to worry about turning it out too soon. Wait until it’s barely lukewarm, and turn out onto a rack to cool properly.
– To make the icing, mix the cinnamon, marscapone and golden caster sugar together in a bowl, when the cakes are stone cold, sandwich with a little bit of the icing, and pop the rest on top.
– I like to keep my decoration sort of classic, a sprinkling of chopped and whole walnuts, and a dusting of cinnamon.
I hope you get to try this, you certainly will not regret it. Oh my, will you not regret it. I’d go as far as saying you will actively enjoy this experience. So, to any of my fellow Summer babies:
Alles gutes zum Geburtstag,