Carrot and Pomegranate Cake

I have been trying and failing to bake a good cake for what feels like weeks – every time I put a cake in the aga (our oven) the oven goes out! That happened with this cake, but although it was still a little gooey, it was really tasty. I love the crunch that the pomegranate seeds give to the cake, and I love the grated carrot decoration! This recipe is adapted from The Vintage Tea Party Book  (which is full of beautiful photographs and recipes) although I’ve kept it mostly the same.

ginger and pomegranate cake 1

You will need:
125ml vegetable oil
150g flower
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
250g caster sugar
2 large eggs
3 tbsp greek yoghurt
350ml of shredded carrot
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp diced ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
115g pomegranate seeds (from two pomegranates)
15ml water
100g  cream cheese
2 tbsp icing sugar

Step 1: Remove the pomegranate seeds from the pomegranates. Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat and add the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. After two minutes, add the pomegranate seeds, 2 tbsps of sugar, and gradually add the water, stirring, until the mixture is a sticky syrup consistency, at which point take it off the heat.

carrot and pomegranate cake 4Step 2: In a large bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and the rest of the sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs and yoghurt. Then, combine the flour mixture with the eggs mixture, the pomegranate syrup, and the grated carrot.

Step 3: Grease a baking tin, and pour in the mixture. Bake for 1 hour at 180 degrees C.

Step 4: Leave the cake to cool for twenty minutes, and then decorate with blobs of cream cheese, swirls of grated carrot, and icing sugar!ginger and pomegranate cake 3

Bon appetit 🙂 Have you done any baking recently? The chilly weather makes me want to bake lots of cake, but that isn’t helping my goal to eat more healthily. Carrot cake is one of your five a day, right?


Kiwi and strawberry pastry

I am not very good at eating fruit. I always buy it, promising myself that then I will eat it, but I end up snacking on crisps instead! This means that I often find myself with a lot of fruit to use up. This easy fruit pastry is a great way to use up a lot of fruit quickly, and it is SO tasty and summery! You could swap the kiwi and strawberry for bannanas, peaches, mango, whatever you like 🙂

kiwi and strawberry 1
You will need:
A punnett of strawberries
3 kiwis
1 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 packet of puff pastry
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp ground almonds

kiwi and strawberry 2

Step 1: Chop up your fruit, and roll out your puff pastry so that it is rectangular.

Step 2: Spread out the fruit on your puff pastry, drizzle over some honey, and sprinkle on the coconut, sugar and almonds.

kiwi and strawberry 3

Step 3: Bake in your oven on 180 degrees, or until the edges turn crispy.

That’s it! Serve up with a dollop of cream or ice cream.

kiwi and strawberry 4

Maybe in the future I will be better at eating fruit, or maybe i’ll just give up and make lots of fruit pastries instead. This counts as healthy, right? Have a wonderful day 🙂

Lemon and Chai Sticky Pudding

So, the idea for this pudding came to me in kind of a funny way. I was browsing pinterest, and I *thought* I came across a recipe for lemon and chai cake. That sounded amazing, so I pinned it and eagerly anticipated the evening when I planned to make it. When that evening came, I realised that I’d read the recipe wrong and it was actually lemon and chia pudding. Chia, it turns out, is not a delicious milky drink, but are berries which I definitely did not have in my cupboard. So, I decided to experiment, and this was the result! It’s basically a lemon drizzle cake which I adapted from this recipe, with added lemons and chai tea. The tea sits at the bottom of the cake so it has the texture of a sticky toffeee pudding. It got a good review from all my family members (which is rare, we can never agree on food!) so it’s a keeper.

Lemon Chai 1

You will need:

225g butter
325g caster sugar
4 eggs
4 lemons
225g self raising flour
1 packet of instant chai tea
(That’s a lot of sugar, I know, just don’t eat the whole cake at once, or close your eyes when you’re mixing in the sugar. One of the two should work!)

Lemon Chai 2

Step 1: Make the mixture! Beat together the butter and 225g of the caster sugar until you get buttercream. Next, mix in the eggs one at a time. Sift in the flour, and, finally, add the zest of all of your lemons.

Step 2: Bake the cake. Transfer your cake mixture to an ovenproof dish and bake at 180 c / fan 160 c / gas 4 for 45 mins. You’ll be able to tell when the cake is done because the top will be a golden brown, and the bottom will not be liquidy. If you stick a fork in, it should come back out without any mixture on.

Lemon Chai 3

Step 3: Whilst the cake is in the oven, you can prepare the chai tea sauce. I just followed the instructions on the back of my tea packet. This involved adding boiling water to the mixture, except I halved the amount of water it suggested. Then I added the remainding 100g of caster sugar and simmered the mixture on top of the stove whilst the cake was baking. This will make your chai tea lovely and thick and syrupy. When the cake is out the oven, just poke the top witha fork several times and pour over the tea.

Chai Lemon 4

Just wait to ten minutes to let the tea absorb, and then you’re ready to eat it!

I had loads of lemons left over, so I decided to make lemonade. Just juice the lemons into a jug and then stir in some caster sugar until it is sweet enough for you 🙂

Lemon Chai 5

Lermon Chai 6

I’ve been spending today crafting and baking, it’s been lovely. I hope you’re all having a good weekend!