Carrot Cake

I have to admit that carrot cake is not my favourite cake.  That is not to say that I would ever refuse a slice if it was offered to me but it just would not be top of my list of favourite cakes.  It is, however, my husband’s favourite cake.  So with Father’s Day fast approaching I suggested to my daughter that we make a carrot cake as a surprise for her Dad.  She was not impressed with the idea as her favourite would be a chocolate cake.  After much persuasion she finally agreed and we decided we would make it on the Saturday.  Saturday morning arrived and we were sitting round the table having breakfast when my daughter asked her Dad, “Dad, why do you have to like carrot cake?”  That was it – the secret was out and my daughter still doesn’t understand how her Dad guessed he was getting a carrot cake for Father’s Day because she “never actually told him he was getting carrot cake.”

Carrot Cake

It was a very easy cake to make and went down a treat with our afternoon tea.  It definitely gets better after a day or two so keep that in mind if you are going to make it.

Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 8 generous servings

Carrot Cake

A simple and delicious carrot cake for a perfect tea time treat.

Ingredients

  • 400g carrots, trimmed and grated (Approx 2 large carrots)
  • 100g roughly chopped pistachio kernels
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 4 large eggs
  • 275g light brown sugar
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 50 g butter, at room temperature
  • 250 g cream cheese, chilled
  • 275 g icing sugar, sifted
  • Juice from ½ a lime

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
  2. Grease and line 2 x 20cm x 4cm sandwich tins.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the carrots, pistachios and lime zest and leave to the side.
  4. Into another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl. Add the eggs, sugar and oil and whisk well.
  5. Fold the carrot mixture into the flour and egg mixture and mix well until just combined.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly into the two sandwich tins and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 - 35 mins.
  7. Test with a skewer and once done, leave to rest for 10 minutes before removing from the tins.
  8. Remove the cakes from the tins and leave until completely cool on a wire rack.
  9. For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  10. Whisk the butter until light and fluffy.
  11. Add the cream cheese and whisk until well combined.
  12. Add the icing sugar and lime juice and whisk until well combined and nice and thick.
  13. To Finish
  14. Add cream cheese frosting to the top of one cake and sandwich the remaining cake on top.
  15. Add more cream cheese to the top layer and a thin layer all around the sides.
  16. Decorate (I made some pistachio praline which I then blitzed and sprinkled on the top).
http://mygoldenpear.com/2016/06/22/carrot-cake/

Carrot Cake

 

Enjoy!

I’m joining in with Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesdays linky

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and with A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week linky

recipe-of-the-week

 

Recipe adapted from Sarah Randell

Lemon Drop Martini

I definitely go through phases with my cocktails.  At the moment my absolute favourite has to be the Lemon Drop Martini.

Slightly sour, slightly sweet and very, very drinkable.

I normally use Absolut Citron Vodka but if I don’t have any then normal Vodka works just as well – just add the lemon zest to the cocktail shaker with the other ingredients to extract some of those lovely lemon oils for added flavour.

Lemon Drop Martini

Lemon Drop Martini

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Lemon Drop Martini

Ingredients

  • 60ml Citron Vodka
  • 30ml Cointreau
  • Freshly squeezed juice from ½ lemon
  • 15ml sugar syrup (see note below

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add fresh ice and shake vigorously.
  3. Strain into a chilled glass and decorate with a twist of lemon zest.

Notes

To make your own sugar syrup - add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a pan. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and leave to cool. Store in the refrigerator.

http://mygoldenpear.com/2016/06/11/lemon-drop-martini/

Lemon Drop Martini

I’m looking at my watch as I write this to see if it is cocktail hour yet – not quite but I can tell you that in about half an hour or so I’ll be sipping on a delicious Lemon Drop Martini.

Cheers

Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day

So tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday and the kids have placed their order for pancakes. For breakfast they want the thick, spongy Scotch pancakes with bacon and maple syrup and after school they want these thin pancakes (which I call crêpes) with Nutella.  I’m not sure they fully understand the meaning of Pancake Day and that Lent follows soon after.  I wonder how long they would last if they had to give up something important for the next six weeks?  I might just test them out for fun.

These pancakes are so quick and easy and yes I know it’s easy to buy the mixture from the supermarkets but ‘made from scratch’ tastes so much better and the kids love getting involved.  I haven’t had one stuck to my ceiling yet and that’s not from lack of trying by the kids.

Enjoy with lemon, sugar and cinnamon, Nutella, caramel sauce, fresh fruit and cream – basically anything you want really.

Just enjoy!

Classic Pancakes  

Pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 18 pancakes

Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 175g plain flour
  • 20g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 400 ml milk

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the two eggs to the dry mixture and beat well with a balloon whisk.
  3. Add the milk and combine well with the whisk.
  4. Leave the mixture to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat a 20cm non-stick pan until hot and pour just enough mixture to thinly coat the bottom of the pan.
  6. After about 1 - 2 minutes the edge of the pancake will be nice and crispy and the bottom of the pancake nicely browned.
  7. Flip the pancake and cook for another 1 - 2 minutes on the other side.
  8. Serve warm with fresh lemon juice and sugar and cinnamon.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2016/02/08/pancake/

 

Spring border

A Proper Pickle and Pastrami Sandwich

The other day, my hubby and I were reminiscing about our earlier days in South Africa and in particular about all the lovely food that we had available.  At one point he almost started drooling when he started to tell me about a little place in Joburg called Wachenheimers.  This, according to him was where you got the best hot beef on rye sandwiches – ever!  He even had me Google the restaurant to see if it was still open.
Pastrami and Pickle Sandwich 2
The pictures on Google were definitely tempting so I thought I would have a go at making my own hot beef sandwich and I have to say the results were delicious.  Why oh why is Pastrami not used more in this country – it is so tasty? To top it all I tried one of  the new pickles from English Provender.  They have brought out a range of four Proper Pickles – Traditional Proper Pickle (Chunky); Traditional Proper Pickle (Finely Chopped); Pickled Onion Proper Pickle or Beetroot Proper Pickle which are available from Waitrose or Asda.  Normally I’m wary of buying pickles because I don’t like big chunks of vegetables but when I saw the finely chopped pickle I was sold.
Pastrami and Pickle Sandwich 1
As you can see in the  picture above the different root vegetables have been very finely chopped and are encased in the most delicious and tangy blend of spices to make a wonderful accompaniment to any sandwich.

Kale chips

Another first for me were the kale chips.  I’ve seen them in so many of the latest cook books and magazines but just never got round to trying them until now.  Let’s just say I have them with everything now.  Baked until crispy and tossed with a pinch of rock salt – you can’t stop eating them.

I would highly recommend giving this tasty sandwich a go.  There is nothing complicated about it – just a combination of great tasting ingredients.  Warning – make plenty and don’t be shy with the filling.

A Proper Pickle and Pastrami Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

A Proper Pickle and Pastrami Sandwich

Ingredients

  • Kale, chopped with all tough pieces removed
  • Olive oil
  • Rock Salt
  • Sour Dough bread, sliced
  • Butter
  • Pastrami, sliced
  • English Provender Finely Chopped Pickle

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200° (400°F).
  2. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and use your hands to toss until the kale is fully covered in oil.
  3. Place the kale on a baking tray making sure it is not overcrowded.
  4. Bake in the oven until the leaves are nice and crispy - about 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and toss with a pinch of rock salt.
  6. Turn your oven off. Place pastrami slices into the oven to warm up. You want it just warm not hot.
  7. Set to one side.
  8. Place a knob of butter in a frying pan and heat until melted.
  9. Place the slices of sour dough bread into the pan and press down lightly until you have some nice colour and crispy edges. You don't want to toast the bread just give it a bit of extra flavour and crunch.
  10. Remove from pan and set on serving platter.
  11. Layer the warm pastrami on the untoasted sides of the bread.
  12. Spoon a generous amount of Proper Pickle on your sandwich.
  13. Add the kale chips to your sandwich or serve as a side dish.
  14. Top with another slice of bread.
  15. Eat and enjoy.
  16. Repeat process because one is simply not enough!
http://mygoldenpear.com/2015/11/30/proper-pickle-pastrami-sandwich/

Pastrami and Pickle Sandwich

This post is an entry into the #ProperPickle Challenge with The English Provender Co and Foodies100

Enjoy!

Scones for National Cream Tea Day

Homemade Scones
Now I’m not usually one to celebrate National food days but I couldn’t let National Cream Tea Day go by without a little mention.  A light feathery scone topped with strawberry jam and finished off with a dollop of cool, creamy clotted cream is one of my many guilty pleasures.
Homemade Scones
This is my treat once a week. A couple of good books from the library, a quiet corner in the local coffee shop and my scone, jam and cream.

Perfect ‘me’ time.

Scones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6 - 7 scones

Scones

Ingredients

  • 400g self raising flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • a good pinch of salt
  • 100g sultanas (optional)
  • 60ml sunflower oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 190° C (375° F).
  2. Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the sultanas if you are making fruit scones.
  4. Add enough milk to the sunflower oil and beaten egg to make up to 250ml.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture.
  6. Mix lightly until the mixture comes together and you have a soft but not sticky dough.
  7. Turn it out on to a lightly floured surface and pat it slightly to a height of about 3cm.
  8. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter (do not twist the cookie cutter as this will stop them rising).
  9. Put the scones onto a baking tray.
  10. You can brush the tops with some of the milk/egg mixture but I prefer not to.
  11. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
  12. Cool on a wire rack.
  13. Serve with strawberry jam and clotted cream.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2015/06/26/scones-for-national-cream-tea-day/

Homemade Scones
Enjoy!

I’m adding this post to the following weekly link ups :

The lovely Supergolden Bakes who hosts the CookBlogShare linky

CookBlogShare_zps90bcfc92

 

and Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesdays linky

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