Carrot cake

Carrot Cake

Julie Donald
Perfect carrot cake.
Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Baking

Ingredients
  

  • 340 g flour
  • 10 ml ground cinnamon
  • 5 ml ground ginger
  • 2.5 ml ground nutmeg
  • 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 10 ml baking powder
  • 5 ml salt
  • 200 ml sunflower oil
  • 225 g brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 170 g or 125ml golden syrup
  • 500 g grated carrot
  • 60 g pecans or walnuts optional

For the icing

  • 100 g butter softened
  • 125 g cream cheese high fat
  • 500 ml icing sugar sifted
  • 5 ml lemon juice or vanilla essence
  • A few extra pecans or walnuts for decoration

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin, and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, spices, bicarb, baking powder and salt).
  • Make a large well in the centre and in a separate bowl mix the eggs, oil, sugar and syrup.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the well in the dry ingredients and whisk well until there are no lumps.
  • Add in the carrot and the nuts and pour into the prepared tin.
  • Bake for approximately an hour and a half until a skewer comes away clean.
  • Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning it out, and leave it too cool completely before icing.

To make the icing

  • Beat the butter until light and smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until they are combined. Add in the icing sugar and the flavouring and mix gently. Once combined spread the icing on the top and sides of the cake as desired. Decorate with a few extra nuts.
Keyword Carrot cake

Apricot and white chocolate granola bars

Apricot and white chocolate granola bars

Julie Donald
Perfect back to school treat
Prep Time 15 mins
Chilling 3 hrs
Course Baking
Servings 8 bars

Ingredients
  

  • 150 g rolled oats
  • 50 g rice krispies
  • 50 g Turkish dried apricots chopped
  • 30 g sunflower seeds
  • 100 g butter
  • 85 g golden syrup
  • 75 g white chocolate

White chocolate topping

  • 50 g white chocolate

Instructions
 

  • Grease a 20cm cake tin or line with paper
  • Mix the oats, rice krispies, chopped apricots and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter, syrup and 75g white chocolate in the microwave
  • Add the melted mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Press into the tin. If you want thicker bars, only fill half of the tray. Compress slightly and cover with cling film
  • Place in the fridge to firm up.
  • Cut into 8 even bars

Topping

  • Melt the 50g of white chocolate in the microwave (heat for 10 seconds at a time stirring in between).
  • Drizzle the chocolate over the bars.

Notes

Wrap in wax paper for lunch boxes.  Place in an airtight container, and store at room temperature for 1 week or in the fridge for about 3 weeks.
Keyword Granola bar, Health bar

Macarons

Macarons

Julie Donald
Perfect macarons.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting time 30 mins
Course Baking
Cuisine French

Ingredients
  

  • 75 g eggs white
  • 2.5 ml egg white/meringue powder
  • 40 g castor sugar
  • 100 g almond flour finely ground almonds
  • 125 g icing sugar
  • 5 g cocoa (optional) for chocolate ones
  • 2.5 ml flavour extract for flavoured macarons

Butter icing filling

  • 100 g butter softened
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 5 ml flavour extract as desired OR
  • 15 ml jam

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C and line two trays with baking paper or non-stick mats.
  • Add the egg white powder to the egg whites. Using a hand-held mixer, beat until foamy.
  • Carry on beating the egg whites to stiff peaks, while gradually adding the castor sugar.
  • Sift together the icing sugar and ground almonds.
  • Add the almond mixture to the stiffly beaten egg whites. Add colour (as desired) and flavourant and mix together until a smooth consistency is achieved (not more than 5 minutes)
  • Place the mixture into a piping bag and cut a hole of no more than 1 cm in diameter.
  • Pipe circles onto a baking tray (about 4 cm in diameter) leaving about 2 cm space between each. Use a template to ensure they are all the same size.
  • Tap the bottom of the tray vigorously to knock out any air bubbles that may be inside.
  • NB: Leave to stand for 15 - 30 minutes for a croute (crust) to form. The top of the macaron should be dry to the touch before baking. If unsure, leave them a little longer.
  • Place in an oven at 160 ˚C and bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Butter icing filling

  • Beat together the ingredients and set aside for filling the macarons.
  • Pipe the filling into the shells and sandwich them together.

Notes

Ganache can also be used as a filling.

Macaron recipe based on a recipe I received from my dear friend Lezanne Winshaw.