We’re veering dangerously close to March and I’m not at all happy about it. I don’t want to write my dissertation (on conceptions of sufferance in the 12th century – What fun!), whilst also juggling a couple of essays and keeping half an eye on my ever looming exams. I don’t really want to shuffle from tube station to the library and back again when London is heavy with damp. And heck, I don’t want to be trapped in a reading room where the temperature never strays from twenty degrees and the biggest irritant is the persistent sniffer sitting opposite. No. I really, really don’t want to do any of this. Yesterday I was dangerously close to taking temporary leave from blogging until the summer, to ‘work on other projects’ (i.e. sulking over how much work third year entails). A sad thought. After all, at least it can distract me from sniffing students and 12th century practices of flagellation.
So I’m still here, but for the next few months I’m taking a purist approach to food blogging. Once a week I’ll cook/bake something new and blog about it. In fear of boring you all with my moaning, I’ll keep it all brief until I’ve weathered the exam storm with the aid of baked goods.*
Talking of which, here is a rather nice carrot cake with honey cream cheese frosting from Peyton and Byrne’s British Baking. P&B have a fantastic cafe in my regular haunt: The British Library, where I will now live out the rest of my university life.
• Contrary to what I’ve just suggested, I’m not actually working that hard nor am I that stressed. However, I do know that in two months I’ll be crying into my tray of freshly baked brownies, so I thought I’d give everyone a heads up.
225g unsalted butter (softened)
225g light brown sugar
200g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
225g grated carrot
150g walnuts, chopped
50g sultanas, chopped
500g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter (softened)
200g cream cheese (softened)
1 tablespoon honey
2. Butter two 20cm springform cake tins and line with baking paper.
3. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
5. Sift the baking powder, cinnamon and flour and salt into a bowl and add half of it to the cake mixture, mix to just combined then add the 2nd half.
6. In another bowl, combine the grated carrot, sultanas and walnuts and stir this into the cake mixture.
7. Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake is springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Alternatively spoon into 24 cupcake cases and bake for 25-30 minutes.
8. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack until completely cold before you ice it.
1. Sift the icing sugar twice.
2. In a bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
3. Add the cream cheese and and beat for a minute on high speed.
4. Add a third of the icing sugar and beat on a slow speed, then add the rest of it and beat until smooth and creamy.