It’s only Carrot Cake but I like it…

I am partial to a bit of baking. It’s an old tradition and something we enjoy, without excelling, in my family. Its rare I attempt anything complicated, but I like to think I can pull some of the basic recipes out of the hat when I need to – I bake a hearty scone, a rich, gooey brownie and my lemon drizzle is just the right side of tangy.

I’m told my Gran was a good baker. Mum says she’d spend Saturday baking and freeze pies for the week amongst other treats. I hear her chocolate cake was to die for. Unfortunately, a stroke she suffered when I was aged just 4 left her fairly immobile so her baking days were over cruelly early. I’m sure I indulged in her baking before then though. She passed the love of baking on to my Mum, and I can honestly say I never had ( or wanted) a shop bought birthday cake.

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Mum baked with us when we were little and when my sister and I get together we often bake. When it comes to me I tend to go through phases. I’ve been through several periods of weight loss where I haven’t baked much as it’s just too tempting! I like to bake if I have visitors coming or for special occasions, and a well equipped kitchen is always something I’ve aspired to. Just lately I’ve set myself a few baking challenges and this is just one of them.

I chose a recipe from the BBC Good Food website. I’ve used this website lots of times as the ratings system is a good way to find a reliable recipe. My recipe is this one: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/532636/carrot-cake-with-cinnamon-frosting

It has the zest and juice of an orange which makes it very moist and aromatic.

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I used a loaf tin I found in the Dr P’s kitchen but it seemed quite large… I’m not sure what size it was but I’m blaming this on the fact it looks like it hasn’t risen, but it had!

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It was very moist and had a nice springy texture. I didn’t make the frosting as I’m kinda traditional in that arena – not a fan of heaps of buttery icing!

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I served it with a large pot of tea in my Beryl teapot – the only way to serve cake as far as I’m concerned!

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I enjoyed it but I’m not sure it’s the recipe I was looking for – it’s lacking a certain je ne sais quoi… I have been recommended another so I will keep you posted. Let me know if you try it or you have a recommendation…

It is with a root vegetable craving I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

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It’s only Chutney but I like it…

I’m back, I’m still preserving and this time it’s personal!

i have briefly, mentioned my love of preserves and it’s ability to brighten up my vegetarian sandwiches. I love the tangy, aromatic sludge and it’s contrast with the creamy, crumbly cheddar that is still my ‘go to’ cheese despite having tried many varieties.

I started making my own chutney a long time ago now and was impressed by how easy, how cheap and how consistent it was. I have had many culinary disasters in my time but never in the chutney arena.

One of my favourites is onion chutney – a great balance of sweet and sour, rich and glossy, it’s a real palate pleaser.

I used this recipe with a few adaptations when I made some chutney recently http://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/caramelised-onion-chutney.html .

I’m not supposed to have tasted it yet, but I couldn’t wait – it’s delicious!
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I’ve a craving for some spiced apple chutney – another favourite! So that may be my next project. Until then…

It is with a watering mouth I say:
It’s only Vintage but I like it!