Tag Archives: healthy

No-Need-For-Frosting Carrot Cake Muffins!

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I LOVE carrot cake!

Invariably though I often find myself contemplating, as I scoff my shop bought, homemade or bakery slice, whether actually it’s the cream cheese frosting that I adore. When the realisation dawns that in 90% of the situations that is the truth, I am always left disappointed and little perplexed as to why this should happen. Surely a cake/confection/meal/whatever is only as good as the sum of it’s ingredients? *see my post about Rocky Road

I think you should be able to eat a cake and enjoy both the frosting and the cake part individually. Or say a biscuit and the filling(particular pet peeve of mine is a dry Empire biscuit with horrid jam, and glace icing)? When the two constituent parts are good the end result should be FABULOUS. Sadly in a lot of my carrot cake experiences this has not been true. One good thing and one rubbish thing does NOT equal a good wedge of cake!

Anyhow, I rather think these carrot cake muffins do the trick, so much so that (this time) I didn’t even bother to slather them in frosting and the boys in my house still were crazy for them, praise of the highest order! In my mind these might just be the perfect healthy(my eldest eats no veggies!) after-school snack!  🙂

 

Here’s what I used:

 

1 egg

3/4 cup plain/all purpose flourimage

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup caster sugar

2.5 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

 1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup oil(I used Borderfields Lemon infused oil <click for link)

1/2 cup grated carrot(I like organic carrots cause I read somewhere once they are the veg that absorbs most pesticides & I’m fancy like that)

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Wee handful of raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 ginger

 1-2 tbsp milk if needed

 

What I did:

Basically I put all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then dumped in the carrots, oil and egg. 

Mixed it all together and added the milk, I had to use 2 tbsp, to get a soft dropping consistency.

Divided between 6 muffin cakes.

Baked for about 30 mins(or until a toothpick comes out clean) at gas 180/350

Cool on a wire rack.

Eat!

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These muffins are moist, tasty and in my opinion don’t need a cream cheese frosting . The lemon oil is not overpowering but does add another level of flavour without going to the bother of faffing about with zesting a lemon(I didn’t actually have one in the house anyway!)

Although I made a small batch of muffins this time you can easily double up the recipe to make a full tray. By the way, they freeze beautifully too! 🙂

I’d love to hear what you think. If you try these please drop me a line to let me know how you get on!

🙂

My “Kind of Carmelitas” *EDITED*

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I sort of stumbled upon this while searching the web, a carmelita is an oat bar with chocolate and rather obviously, as the name suggests, caramel. Poring over the photographs on Google images I knew I wanted to make them, but instead of being gooey and squishy, I needed them to be a bit more stable seeing as I wanted to pack them off with the menfolk for lunches etc.

I tweaked the recipe and the result is a bar that is quick and easy to make,  tasty AND holds up well to traveling!

 

What I used:

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Crust & Topping:

2 cups of Bisquick

1 3/4 cups of oats(I actually used Stoats Sunflower & Poppy seed Porridge-a mix of oats with sunflower, poppy, linseeds & pumpkin seeds. If you use plain old oats it will be ok, just not as awesome)

3/4 cup soft brown sugar, packed

170g butter melted(I used unsalted, you could make it salted and have Salted Carmelitas!)

 

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Chocolate Caramel Layer:

3 Mars bars

1 oz butter

 

 

What I did:

Set your oven at 350f/175c

You will need a 9×9″ baking pan

Mix all these ingredients together

Take half of the mixture and press into your pan

Cook for about 15 mins or until golden.

Set on rack to cool slightly as you prep middle layer.

Break the Mars bars into pieces and place in a glass bowl, microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stir together. Also you should note here, it’s kind of weird trying to mix the bars & butter together, it will look all buttery & like it’s not going to  work. I does so stuck with it, there is nothing wrong. By the way you will probably think this layer is too thin, it’s really not, trust me! 🙂

Working quickly(otherwise it will start to set) spread the Mars bar & butter mixture over your base.

Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the top(it doesn’t matter if there are gaps, in fact it’s nice!) of the choc/caramel layer, pressing it down slightly.

Bake for another 15 mins or until the top is golden.

Take from oven and cool on a rack before cutting into bars.

 

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Yum! 🙂

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 *EDIT*

I tried making these delicious bars again substituting the Mars bars for some of my favourite fudge(made locally too)! 

It was sublime! I would even go so far as to say, even better than the original version.

If you want to do as I did ad swap candy bars for fudge, just carry on as normal and when making the middle layer use 200g of chocolate fudge(Ochil Fudge Pantry’s Death by Chocolate is what I used) chopped up and softened in a pan(on the cooker) with 1tbsp double cream, then spread over crust  🙂

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A very lovely breakfast loaf(no need to knead)!

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This recipe is super simple and inspired by one I read from celeb chef wife-turned chef herself Tana Ramsay.

It’s delicious, healthy and with the added benefit of slow releasing carbs from the oats, a filling start to the day, without being as heavy as a bowl of porridge.

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You need:

70g Apricot chopped(go for unsulphured if you like, I just couldn’t get my hands on any at the time)

70g Cranberries dried

70g Walnuts chopped

150g Caster Sugar

500g Self Raising Flour

40g Porridge Oats(I recommend Stoats!)

1 Teabag, normal black tea here!

100mls Milk

2 Eggs

1tsp salt

1tsp Baking Powder

Topping:

1 heaped tbsp Demerara sugar

2 tbsp Oats

A little cinnamon if liked

What to do:

Have ready two 2lb loaf pans(greased & lined)

Set oven to 170c/gas 3/375f

Place the fruit in  saucepan with 400mls of water and the teabag, bring to simmer. Switch off heat, stir in oats, put the lid on and leave to cool.

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In a bowl whisk eggs with sugar until foamy and leave ribbon trails in mixture(you know sometimes I don’t even bother & nobody seems to notice much difference)

Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into the egg/sugar mix, stir to combine.photo-43

Next stir in the milk, followed by the tea soaked fruit(you’ll want to move the teabag probably before  tipping this into the flour!)

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Mix until combined and no flour is showing. At this point you may need a splash of milk extra to what I have said, you want a thick, but dropping consistency.

Spoon into your prepared loaf pans. I use paper liners as it’s quick and looks nicer, if you happen to be gifting one as I tend to do.

Sprinkle with the extra oats, demerara sugar and cinnamon and place in the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

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Remove from oven. Leave five mins then transfer from pans to rack to finish cooling.

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I find the best way to eat these loaves is grilled as it makes the most delicious toast.  It does have a rather heavy texture, something I am working on improving(Tanas was the same incidentally) but once toasted golden, the taste and texture improve and it really is tasty. Honest!  Ignore this last wee bit of info, because once I have rejigged the ingredients it’s pretty much perfect now(& really good untoasted too)

*note to self “prefect recipe before posting blog”-doh! 🙂

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I have it on good authority these last a good week, but it never lasts that time in my house! FYI these loaves freeze well too!

Go forth, bake and enjoy!