Never thought that I'll live to a day when I'll hear "Don't bake anything today, girls are eating too much sugar." How can I not bake anything on my day of? How is that possible...?! I didn't give up though, I thought "No way I'm NOT baking, just no way!!!". So, taking into consideration the remark about sugar, and that we eat too much cake ("too much cake"- something like that doesn't exist in MY world!) I reached for the "Hairy Dieters cookbook", the very first book by Hairy Bikers about lighter, healthier eating. I thought - no one can argue with that now ;)
One recipe caught my eyes straight away - carrot cake! Lighter version of a cake plus carrots - veges. No arguments here ;) The result - light, moist, slightly crumbly carrot cake, packed with flavour and currants. Don't have to mention that it disappeared very quickly! "Polished off" even by those, who said that they don't want any cake at all... ;)
How to make it...
- 3 medium carrots (about 250 g in total unpeeled weight)
- 3 large eggs
- 100 ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
- 100 g soft light brown sugar
- 200 g self-raising flower
- 100 g sultanas (I used Greek currants)
- finely grated zest of 1/2 large well-scrubbed orange
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 190 C (fan assisted 170 C). Grease a 20 cm round loose-based cake tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment. Peel carrots and grate them with a medium-fine grater - you should have 200 g of grated carrot.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a metal whisk. Add the sunflower oil and sugar and whisk until well combined. Stir in the grated carrot, then add the flour, sultanas, orange zest, spices and baking powder. Stir together until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface.
Bake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes (that's the amount of time my cake took to bake) or until cake is well risen and feels springy to the touch. It should be just shrinking back from the sides of the tin. Check with the skewer if it's completely baked inside. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out and remove from lining paper. Leave to cool fully on a wired rack then transfer to a serving plate.
Sift the icing sugar over the cake and scatter grated or pared orange zest on top. This cake should keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days. As it's a "healthy" version of carrot cake the recipe gives the calorific value too - serves 10 and has 239 calories per slice.
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