Carrot cake loaf

Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf

I’m going to keep this short but sweet – much like this carrot cake. Partly because it’s past my bedtime and partly because I’m grumpy after spending my entire Sunday burning multiple carrot cakes – would have helped if my oven wasn’t an old tin can with no temperature markings on it.

Carrot cake loaf
Make 1 loaf / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 1 hr 45 mins / V
You’ll need: 2 lb loaf tin, electric hand whisk
Juice of 1 orange
45g sultanas
150g carrots, peeled and grated
150g soft brown sugar
80g self-raising flour
80g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
50g pecans, roughly chopped
Pinch of salt
150ml rapeseed oil
2 eggs
Cream cheese icing
130g cream cheese
30g soft unsalted butter
65g icing sugar

TIP: To store, refrigerate for 1-2 days at most and then allow to come up to room temperature before serving.

1. In a small saucepan, heat the juice of an orange over a low to medium heat and add the sultanas. Warm through for 10 minutes before putting to one side to cool.
2. Meanwhile, grease the base and sides of a loaf tin with a bit of extra rapeseed oil and line the bottom with baking paper. Put to one side and preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4.
3. Peel and grate the carrot before weighing out the sugar, self-raising flour, wholemeal flour, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the roughly chopped pecans and give it a good mix before incorporating in the grated carrots using a wooden spoon.
4. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the rapeseed oil and the eggs until combined. Pour into the carrot mixture and mix thoroughly. Spoon into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean.
5. While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese icing by whisking the butter and the cream cheese together in a bowl with an electric whisk. Fold in the icing sugar with a spoon before whisking again for a couple of minutes. Cover loosely with clingfilm and refrigerate.
6. Allow the carrot cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out and topping with lashings of cream cheese icing. Delicious!

Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf

If you’ve had a go at making my carrot cake loaf or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

– Vegetarian
❄ – This cake is suitable for home freezing once cooled and before icing. Wrap well in cling film and freeze fore up to 3 months. Defrost fully before icing and serving.

Banana bread with ricotta & honey

Banana Cake with Ricotta & Honey
Banana Cake with Ricotta & Honey
Banana Cake with Ricotta & Honey

Admittedly this is a bit of an odd post from someone who dislikes bananas but I don’t just dislike them, I f**king hate them. I’ve spent my whole life, trying to avoid bananas (which really wasn’t difficult) but they’ve managed to ruin almost every fruit salad I’ve ever eaten.
But when I look back and try to identify the root of my banana problem, it seems to stem from monkey’s. Staring down at the bottom of the monkey cage at Whipsnade Zoo was not a pretty sight. Half eaten bananas strewn all over the floor and rolled in a mixture of mud and monkey turds. Not very appetising. That being said, this didn’t seem to put me off eating oranges, a common accompaniment to the monkey breakfast. Oranges are just nicer though aren’t they? Let’s move on.
A banana is just a fruit though for god’s sake, I need to stop being such a wimp. Full of potassium and very portable, the banana is the perfect snack so what is my problem? It isn’t like I haven’t tried, every couple of years I attempt to eat a banana, and every couple of years I fail miserably. It always starts off well, ‘this aint so bad’ I think to myself as I unzip the yellow skin but then get a wiff of that unpleasant banana smell. Okay, so just breath through your mouth, no problem, easy. Right, now bite the top, don’t even think about it, just do it. Shit, where’s that brown bit gone? Did I eat it? Why are there always brown bits on bananas? Oh god, it’s now turned to mush in my mouth, I try to swallow it but I can’t, I just can’t, so instead I retch, quick abort, ABORT!
I like my mum’s banana bread though so that’s weird. Enjoy her recipe!

Banana bread with ricotta & honey
Makes 1 loaf / Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 1 hr 5 mins + cooling time /

You’ll need: 9 inch loaf tin
225g wholemeal flour + extra for dusting
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
175g demerara sugar
100ml rapeseed oil
100ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large or 3 small over-ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
2 handfuls walnuts, crushed
Knob of butter for greasing
Vegetarian ricotta and runny honey to serve (optional)

1. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a loaf tin with butter and line the bottom with baking paper. Add a tbs of wholemeal flour and shake around the tin until the sides are evenly coated – I do this over a bin as it can be a bit messy. Put to one side.
2. Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt in a medium sized bowl and put to one side.
3. In a larger bowl, combine the sugar, oil, milk and vanilla together and give it a good stir. In a separate bowl, peel and mash the bananas with a fork before adding to the wet mixture.
4. Once combined, add half the dry mix to the wet mixture and fold in with a wooden spoon, then add the crushed walnuts. Add the rest of the dry mixture and fold in until combined.
5. Pour the cake mixture into the loaf tin and bake in an oven, on the middle shelf for around 50 minutes. Using your fingers, gently press down on the top of the cake to see if it feels firm and springy. If it still feels a little wet and wobbly, cover it in a layer of foil and continue to cook for 10-15 more minutes or until it is firm to the touch. Once cooked, insert a clean knife into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is cooked.
6. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Cool fully and enjoy a slice spread with butter and a cup of tea.
7. This cake will last for 2-4 days wrapped well in cling film and stored in a tin at room temperature or up to a week in the fridge. To freeze, wrap in three layers of clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months.

Banana Cake with Ricotta & Honey
Banana Cake with Ricotta & Honey

If you’ve had a go at making my banana cake or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

V– Vegetarian
– Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Wrap well in three layers of cling film and freeze. Consume within 3 months.