Carrot Cake is one of my favourites. If it's on the menu in a coffee shop I'm hard pressed to see past its charms. The Good Family Food Facebook Page asked me to come up with a spring recipe with a hidden vegetable so it was the obvious choice. Although having watched the contestants tackle vegetable cake showstoppers on the recent The Great Comic Relief Bake Off I was tempted to experiment with beetroot, courgette or even parsnip.
CARROT & ORANGE MUFFINS
225g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
75g Golden Castor Sugar
60g Porridge Oats
1 Free Range Egg
90ml Scottish Rapeseed Oil
110g roughly grated Carrot
1 Orange - rind and juice
Cream Cheese Frosting
60g Cream Cheese
120g Icing Sugar
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven to 190c and place paper cases in a 12 hole muffin tin.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, raising agents, salt, spices and sugar. Then add the porridge oats and sultanas.
In a separate bowl beat the egg with a fork before adding the rapeseed oil, grated carrots, zest of the orange and the juice of the orange made up to 180ml with water.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry mixture and stir until just combined.
Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes until tops are lightly browned.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Allow the muffins to cool completely before attempting to ice. Ensure the cream cheese is at room temperature prior to sieving the icing sugar into it. Add the vanilla extract and mix with a spoon. You may need to add some extra sugar to get a spreading consistency depending on the fat content of cream cheese that you use. Spread the frosting over the top of the muffins with a knife.
Peel and finely shred the carrot using a spiralizer, juilenne peeler or mandolin.
Bring the water and sugar to the boil in a small pan stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
Add the carrot, turn down the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Strain through a sieve and discard the syrup.
Arrange in small bundles on a cooling rack and allow to firm up before placing on top of the frosted muffins.
If you can use vegetables in cakes then why not fruit in savoury dishes? Next up is a desert lasagne. One of the ladies at my Tuesday afternoon community cookery class mentioned this idea to me and I was intrigued. Apple, Custard and Pasta. Could it really work? There were mixed opinions on its success and it was definitely a talking point on social media. The pasta itself was a wee bit chewy so next time I'd either use fresh lasagne sheets or preboil it for a couple of minutes.
APPLE & CUSTARD LASAGNE
8 apples, peeled cored and sliced
6 sheets lasagne
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180c and grease a lasagne dish.
Simmer the apples, sultanas and cinnamon for 15-20 mins with a splash of water until softened but not totally mushy.
Layer half of the apple mixture in the dish followed by 3 sheets of lasagne and half the custard. Repeat and sprinkle the top layer of custard with some extra Cinnamon.
Bake for 30 mins
I asked my fellow food bloggers if they had any recipes to share with vegetables used in baking or deserts and fruit used in traditionally savoury dishes. Here's what they came up with, plus a couple more from me
- Chicken with Apples from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary
- Kale & Lemon Muffins from Veggie Deserts
- Sweet Potato,Ginger and Lemongrass Muffins from Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Just Beet it Brownies from Nosebag NI
- Spicy Peruvian Avocado Brownies from Tin and Thyme
- Vegetable & Berry Bircher Museli from Fuss Free Flavours
- Courgette Buns from It's not easy being greedy
- Zucchini Bread from Little Sunny Kitchen
- Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal from Fuss Free Flavours
- Turkey, Banana & Apricot Burgers from Foodie Quine
- Sweet Potato and Ginger Cookies from Rough Measures
- Carrot Jammy Dodgers from Veggie Deserts
Disclosure - QMS commissioned me and compensated me for my time in creating the Carrot Cake Muffin Recipe for their Good Family Food Facebook page. All views expressed are my own.