I am passionate about music and writing; these things are not surprising to anyone who reads this blog regularly. One thing you may not know is that I am also crazy about baking. I love the process, the time spent alone with myriad ingredients and of course, the often tasty cake. ‘Often’ is an essential word to which you should pay attention.
Why do I love baking?
I am a worrier by nature and with many demands and things to stay on top of, not least of all the music scene, switch off time is minimal for this blogger. Music is very much a part of my time spent baking; dancing around to music and poisoning the ears of my family members by belting out my own off-key rendition. I find it therapeutic in a sense.
I revel in a sense of achievement having spent time and effort creating something others can enjoy (for the most part); something akin to most creative processes.
I only wish I was better at it. I know if I was more creative and patient I could create delicious, beautiful looking cakes and biscuits and quickly become known as “the one who bakes”. From now until I feel I have completed my goal, I will blog recipes that I try out as I attempt to teach myself things that go beyond chocolate or vanilla sponge and hopefully some of you will join in, sharing your attempts with me.
Why am I blogging about it?
I often find recipe blogs, bar a few I have recently found, make use of hard to obtain ingredients or awkward equiptment that nobody has in their house. If that’s not the case the blogger is often a professional baker with photoshopped images that my cupcakes could never live up to. It is my hope that readers feel that my posts are easy to replicate or better, and that my natural, unedited photos don’t get your hopes up too high. Consider this the lay person’s baking blog feature.
I thought I would start off easy on myself by baking my former speciality, Carrot Cake, which I hadn’t baked in years. The recipe is a twist on one a learned when I was in school.
200g Self-Raising Flour
180g Dark Muscavado Sugar
1 Large Carrot
170 ml Vegetable Oil
3 eggs (medium-Large)
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
1 tub of mascarpone
2 Heaped Teaspoons of Icing Sugar
- Preheat the oven at 200 Degrees Celius.
- Mix the Muscavado sugar with lightly beaten eggs, oil Grated Carrot and Cinnamon.
- Grate lemon rind into the mix.
- Sieve flour and mix gently with a wooden spoon. The mixture will resemble a light Christmas Pudding mix and will be slightly runnier than a madiera mix.
- For the icing; simply scoop half the tub into a bowl with the icing sugar and squeez half the lemon into it, making sure all pips are removed and mix it all up. Put it in the fridge when you’re done.
- Pour the Cake mix into an oiled loaf tin and sit in the over for 45 minutes.
I was coaxed into baking two cakes (one for my brother and sister-in-law, as I had planned and one for my mam). One turned outslightly better than the other. One was slightly dry so perhaps it could have done with an extra drop of oil. Overall they turned out a nice colour, with a light texture and a mild but noticeable flavour. The icing topped it off (pardon the pun) nicely, the fresh lemon juice, rather than using a flavour, made it taste fresher and zestier.
This is my biggest baking downfall. I get upset when the reaction is bad and when it’s good I think they’re lying to spare my feelings! Provided that all were honest, my Carrot Cake was a success. My primary tasters/guinea pigs, my mam and boyfriend, seemed to like it. The former offering up slight criticism about it being a little dry, the latter being particular taken with the fresh lemon icing. My sister-in-law’s family also offered up some praise, which I outwardly lapped up and inwardly doubted. Hopefully my ability to take praise will improve as these blog posts go on!
What I listened to:
Stevie Nicks’ Bella Donna largely soundtracked the baking of this Carrot cake.
Let me know how you get on if you try it yourself by posting your pictures to Facebook or tweeting me (@ClairesKane) with the Hashtag #BakingBadIRL.