Category Archives: Cakes and Muffins

Jenny’s Famous Carrot Cake

Kate – Uma’s mom- captioned her e-mail quite aptly when she sent me the recipe for this carrot cake that Indira so loves.

I first heard about it when Jenny baked it for school some months ago (her granddaughter Dylan was in Indira and Uma’s class till she moved away recently).

Then Kate made it too, a few weeks ago, and Indira told me again how much she liked it, after Uma shared some with her on the bus coming back to school from their weekly swimming trip.

So yesterday she was really thrilled when I told her she could help me bake it for their gouter.

Noor, let it be noted, pitched in too, fetching and clearing things, stirring the mix a bit, and was delighted to be allowed to use the the new electric whisk.

Jenny’s Famous Carrot Cake

4 eggs

2 cups of flour (I use a mix of whole wheat and plain white flour)

1 cup of melted butter or cooking oil

2 cups of sugar

3 cups of grated carrot

1 tsp each of baking soda,baking powder,cinnamon and salt, mixed in to the flour

1/2 tsp of vanilla essence (optional; I added it, though the original recipe does not mention it)

For the icing:

75g cream cheese, 50 g butter,1 tsp of vanilla essence and icing sugar(to taste), all well-blended

To make the cake:

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl, then add the sugar and the butter, and blend well. Now add the carrots, stir just to blend, then add the flour mixture. Mix this in well, and pour in to a cake tin (use one tin if you are not going to ice the cake, or two equal-sized round tins if you do intend to make the icing too) and bake for 45 minutes-1 hour at 175 degrees C.

To ice the cake, layer the two rounds with it, and also put some on the top.

I have it on good authority that the icing is delicious, so you may want to try and make that extra effort.

I skipped this part but Indira said “Oh but it’s exactly the same !!!” anyway, thank goodness 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Cakes and Muffins, Picnic Food, Starters and Snacks

Date Cake

Loaded with soft dates, this cake has a special, really delectable taste.

I almost did not buy the creme anglaise to go with it, when I decided to make it for dessert last Saturday, but then I was glad I did because everyone seemed to enjoy the combination !

Date Cake

1 egg

1 and ¼ cups of chopped dates

½ cup of chopped walnuts (optional but a nice touch)

¾ cup of brown sugar

¼ cup of melted butter

1 and a ½ cups of any flour (refined is probably ideal, though I often bake with even whole wheat flour)

1 and a 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence

½ tsp of salt

1 tsp of baking soda

1 tsp of baking powder

Soak the dates in 1 cup of boiling hot water, after adding the baking soda and leave them aside to cool. In the meanwhile, beat together the egg and the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla to this mixture.

In another bowl, combine the flour, the salt, and the nuts.

Add the dates once they have cooled to the first mixture, then add in the flour mixture.

Now stir in the melted butter and combine well.

Put this cake batter in to a cake mould, and leave it to stand for 15-20 minutes.

Then bake in a preheated oven at 180degreesC for 1 hour, or till a table knife inserted in to the middle comes out clean and dry.

Like the chocolate and date loaf, this cake makes for quite a fancy dessert, eaten with crème anglaise or vanilla ice cream 🙂

4 Comments

Filed under Cakes and Muffins, Desserts, Picnic Food, Starters and Snacks

Carrot Cake

A few days ago Uma, one of Indira’s classmates, brought carrot cake to school for her snack and she shared some with Indira, who loved it and has asked me several times since then to try and make one.

So this afternoon, I decided to try out a recipe I have for carrot cake (from Jean Pare’s fantastic “Muffins and More”) and this is what the girls had for their gouter today, with a glass of milk. Noor liked it a lot, and asked for and finished a second piece. Indira, though, said she preferred the one that Uma’s mom made. Oh well…

I liked it a lot too; it just bursts with flavor and taste, thanks to the carrot and the spices.

Noor stayed home this afternoon for her nap instead of going back to school after lunch, and helped a lot with fetching and putting the ingredients together, breaking the eggs, mixing the batter, etc.

Well done, Noor, and thank you !!

Carrot Cake

This recipe has a few changes from the original, but still works well.

2 eggs

1/2 cup of melted butter (a cup of 200 ml measure)

1 and 3/4 cups of flour

1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of finely grated carrots (you will need 3-4 carrots for this quantity)

2 and a 1/2 tsps of baking powder

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp of freshly grated/powdered nutmeg

1/4 tsp of freshly powdered cloves

1/4 tsp of ginger powder

walnuts – 1/4 or 1/2 cup

Blend together the sugar, the eggs and the butter. Stir in the carrots.

Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl. Add to the previous mixture, and gently stir together till everything is well-blended.

Pour in to a loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes at 180 degrees C.

Remove the cake from the pan only after it has cooled down, to keep it from breaking.

This is definitely one to make again.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cakes and Muffins, Picnic Food, Starters and Snacks

Their favorite Cake – Chocolate and Date Loaf

As I put together the ingredients, earlier today, for the cake that I took as dessert to the home of friends that we ate with this evening, I realized that this is the third time this month that I am baking the same cake. I made it for Indira’s birthday when we invited all our family friends to a picnic, and it is the one that I sent to school too, for her class.

But this is the cake that she and Noor love best, of all the various recipes I have tried over the years.

This recipe makes a large-ish cake (12- 16 quite big pieces) so tonight it was very gratifying to see it go quite quickly though we were only 5 adults, Indira, Noor, and our hosts’ 14 year old son 🙂

Chocolate and Date Loaf:

2 eggs

3/4 cup melted butter ( I use a cup that is a 200 ml measure)

1 cup sugar

2 cups of wheat (whole or refined) flour

1/2 cup of cocoa

1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1 cup of soft dates,finely chopped

1 cup of boiling water

1 tsp of baking soda

1 and a 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence

Combine the last 4 ingredients in a bowl and set aside to cool.

Best the first three ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl.

Add the date mixture after it has cooled down to the eggs,butter and sugar mixture. Now stir in the rest of the ingredients, and pour in to a cake tin (if it is not the non-stick variety then of course the tin will need a light coat of melted butter and then a sprinkling of flour over that).

Bake at 180 degrees C for 50-60 minutes till a knitting needle/table knife comes out clean.

This cake goes really well with some creme anglaise or vanilla ice cream served on the side . It makes quite a fancy dessert at parties 🙂

6 Comments

Filed under Cakes and Muffins, Desserts, Picnic Food, Starters and Snacks

Indira’s Favorite Date Muffins

This afternoon, the school mums group had organized a little gouter (as the afternoon snack is called) in the primary school canteen.

This is an annual end-of-the-school-year event, at which the children in the various classes gift the collective presents from their families to their teachers.

It is the mums who usually provide the snacks and drinks and I took along Indira’s favorite after-school snack, which is date muffins.

When she was much younger, she assumed that any brown colored food was chocolate.  I was happy to exploit this misconception, and routinely made cakes and muffins with dates instead of chocolate.

This is not to say that she has been spared a fondness for chocolate. But she does love dates too, in any form, which I consider an adequate reward for my efforts.

At the gouter today, too, I was glad to see that the muffins were well-liked.

This is my recipe –

Date Muffins (or “muff-uns”, as Noor calls them)

(makes around 16)

1 and a 1/2 cups of finely chopped soft dates

3/4 cup of very hot water (just boiled)

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1/4 cup (a 160 ml cup) unsalted butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 and 3/4 cup refined or wholewheat flour (I use the latter when baking for the girls, but you may want to use white flour. The difference in taste is not very significant, to my mind, and hence I stick with wholewheat flour since that packs more nutrition)

1tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Mix the first 3 ingredients and leave to cool. Next, mix the last 3 ingredients in a bowl and keep aside.

Beat the eggs till they are frothy, then add melted butter and sugar, and beat again till these 3 things are well-blended.

Once the date mixture has cooled, add it to the eggs-butter-sugar mixture and mix a couple of times to blend. Now add the flour mixture, and mix everything together so the flour is well-blended.

While you mix everything together as described above, remember to switch your oven on, so as to pre-heat it for 5-8 minutes, to 180°C.

Fill the muffin moulds 1/2 to 3/4 full, and bake for 20-25 minutes.

These muffins are extra nice with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side, if you really want to make this in to a fancy dessert or really indulge the kids.

2 Comments

Filed under Breakfast Ideas, Cakes and Muffins, Picnic Food, Starters and Snacks