Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Like your grandma used to make

"Everyone seems to think it's hard to make a cake (and no need to disillusion them)"
Nigella Lawson.

This is no dainty, light, lady-like cake.
This cake has a presence, an authority.
This cake is not about restrained, understated flavours.
This is a cake like your grandma used to make.

It has probably been ten years since I have attempted a carrot cake and there is no real reason why I haven't made one in so long.  My lovely new Frankie recipe book appealed to the nanna in me and so that is why I have carefully followed the recipe of someone else's nanna.

Wet ingredients first blended together to a gorgeous golden and syrupy consistency - the smell of ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg already emanating from the mixture.  Dry ingredients sifted were added, a little at a time and well combined.   Finally, the ingredient that makes this cake what it is...carrot.  This batter of this cake is quite thick and heavy but manages to be runny at the same time.  One all mixed together, it's time to play the waiting game.

Almost as soon as it enters the oven, the spicy aroma wafts from the kitchen.  This is the smell of home: patchwork quilts; bed socks; and flannelette pyjamas.  It is very lucky that my oven has a glass door because otherwise, my cake may have taken all night to cook based on the number of times I went to admire it rising in the oven.  The recipe called for one hour cooking time.  However, I used a slightly smaller tin than stated and so my golden beauty took almost as hour and a half.  My baby left to cool in its tin; I covered with a tea towel and bid it good night.

As is my custom, I rose early this morning and couldn't even wait to have breakfast before finishing off my cake.  I whipped together the cream wheese and butter I'd left to soften overnight (always prepared) and squeezed in a little lemon juice to take the edge off the copious amounts of icing sugar I then mixed in.  The cream, clean white frosting fits this cake perfectly.  I adore the tang of the cream cheese and the sweetness which complements the spices in the cake.  This recipe is an absolute classic.  To describe it as out-dated would be ludicrous; to describe it as old-fashioned is apt and hints towards the feelings of nostalgia and comfort it provokes.  As it is, this cake is everything is should be and more.  To be honest, it can only be made better by a pot of Earl Grey and a good book.  Look out C.W.A., here I come!

F. x


  1. Hi, Your blog and cooking is amazing! So yummy :-)

  2. Thanks, Amy. I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying it! F. x

  3. The cake tastes amazing too! Look out CWA Blackwater, my daughter's about to challenge you all to a cooking session! Mutti x