Every recipe book has one, a page that’s so regularly used it’s where the book naturally opens. As you try and open it the pages start to tear, glued together by a mixture of sugar & butter. Writing barely legible in parts hidden where a resting coffee cup has left its mark. It’s the recipe that never fails, the one you turn to when time is short or the cupboards are bare. Here’s mine, a carrot cake from Bill Grainger’s book “Bill’s Basics,” that I’ve meddled with. While Bill sifts & orders the ingredients I find just chucking everything in a bowl and giving it a cursory mix works just as well.
Pre-heat oven to gas mark 3/170*C
Grease and base line a 23cm spring form cake tin.
Whisk 3 eggs with 250g of soft brown sugar.
Add 200g plain flour, 200g grated carrot, 3tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 100g sultanas, 100g pecans, zest of 1 orange, 250ml sunflower oil, 1 small well drained can of chopped pineapple (buy the supermarket basics tin, tiny reject pieces are perfect!)
Stir well to combine and pour into the greased tin. Bake for 1 – 1 15mins, leave to cool in the tin before topping.
For the topping melt 50g butter and mix with 200g cream cheese, 200g icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla essence.
As it contains fruit and vegetables this cake is almost good for you, meaning you can cut a large wedge guilt free. In the unlikely event that it survives an afternoon it keeps brilliantly because of the moist pineapple.
So what’s your favorite mucky book……?