This year for Mother’s Day, mum didn’t ask for anything that was too difficult:
” Just bake me a carrot cake.”
Well, I could do that easily! I had recently had a bit of an online shopping splurge and had indulged in purchasing a couple of new cookbooks – something I haven’t done in a while as cookbooks can be a bit pricey and you can access so many recipes online. But I do love pretty pictures and I’ve always enjoyed the tactile aspect of flipping through paper rather than an eBook. One of the books I had bought was What Katie Ate by the famous food blogger Katie Quinn Davies, and when I saw she had a recipe for Carrot Cakes with Cointreau-soaked Sultanas, I was smitten.
As I tend to do, I’ve altered some elements of the recipe to suit what I have in the kitchen and the deductions that I have made as a result of testing the recipe. As I didn’t soak the sultanas in Cointreau, but in orange juice and Frangelico – I guess I can’t really call this Carrot Cakes with Cointreau-soaked Sultanas, can I?
Fluffy and lightly spiced, full of juicy, sweet sultanas and full of the fragrance of beautiful honey, these are divine. My mother absolutely loved these beautiful little cakes and The Sister said they had to be the best carrot cakes she’s ever eaten. Praise indeed.
To make 12 of these little beauties, you will need:
- 80g sultanas;
- Juice of one orange;
- 1 tablespoon Frangelico;
- 75g brown sugar;
- 125ml vegetable oil;
- 125ml runny honey, plus extra for drizzling;
- 3 free range eggs;
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste;
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger;
- 225g plain flour;
- 2 teaspoons baking powder;
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda;
- Pinch salt;
- 3 carrots, grated;
- Small handful roasted walnuts, roughly chopped.
For the icing:
- 135g icing sugar, sifted;
- 85g unsalted butter, softened;
- 80g cream cheese;
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste.
Place the sultanas, orange juice and Frangelico in a small bowl and leave in the fridge overnight to macerate. The original recipe says to use Cointreau but I didn’t have any in the house. I found the Frangelico added a slightly nutty-aroma to the sultanas, but if you want to leave it out, feel free to.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin, line with papers if desired.
Place the brown sugar, oil, honey, eggs and vanilla into a large bowl.
Sift the ginger, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into another large bowl.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
Stir in the grated carrot and soaked sultanas.
Pour the mixture into the prepared muffin cases, filling each hole three-quarters full.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the mould and allow to cool on wire racks.To make the icing, beat the butter, vanilla and cream cheese together in a small bowl before gradually adding the sifted icing sugar and mixing to a smooth consistency.
Ice the cooled cakes and serve them topped with a scatter of the chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey if you like. I really recommend topping them with honey as it really brings out the delicious taste of honey you baked into the fluffy little cakes.
Enjoy your weekend, lovelies! Catch you next week Monday when I review Sydney’s Longrain restaurant.