A new twist on baking

02May10

Anyone who knows me will know that I’ve recently taken to baking. I love the mess, the smells wafting through the house, licking the cake mix off the spatula and finally, eating the end results!

I’ve managed to get a few basic cakes and cupcakes down pretty well. Chocolate cakes, marble cakes, apple cake, even a painfully unhealthy but delicious cheesecake recipe. But now, I feel like it’s time to spread my wings a bit.

My big sister (Jacqui) bought me a recipe book for my birthday from my Amazon wishlist, called “Red Chocolate Velvet Heartache” (great name) by Harry Eastwood. It claimed to be full of recipes that are ‘natural but taste naughty’. With over 77 five-star reviews, I was tempted to see what the fuss was about.

I received the book last week and it’s a sight to behold. Full of beautiful pictures and comprehensive recipes, I was almost afraid to touch it for fear of getting it dirty. And yesterday (Saturday), I decided to try my first recipe, ‘chocolate chip cakes’.

Can you spot anything unusual in the ingredients?

Cake ingredients

See anything unusual?

Well if you didn’t spot it, and I’m sure you did, the unusual ingredient is carrots! This particular recipe contained no butter, but did contain 250 grams of finely grated carrots. The recipe also used white rice flour instead of normal plain/self-raising, which makes these cakes totally gluten-free.

Almost all of the recipes in this book replace many of the ingredients you’d normally expect to find in cakes, with vegetables and other unusual substitutes. While many have turned their nose up at the idea of vegetables in cakes, I was intrigued at how the taste and texture might be altered.

In this case – the recipe was simple, although I did find it hard to get hold of the rice flour. I had to grate the carrots which was by far the biggest time-taker, and I almost lost an arm after 5 solid minutes of whisking. The end result was a slightly odd mixture that was fairly thick and full of texture rather than being totally smooth. I put the cupcakes in the oven, and once they’d cooled I iced them with a standard, chocolate butter icing.

The end result

The end result is interesting. Certainly not as light and fluffy as a regular sponge, I can’t be sure if this is a result of me getting the recipe slightly wrong or if this is simply a different type of cake! When I unwrap the cakes, the cake itself is sticking a little to the sides, so it’s even quite messy to eat.

However, that’s not to say that don’t taste good. I’ve already scoffed my third today, telling myself they’re guilt free because they are full of carrots. (Don’t mention the icing, I’m ignoring that part!) The chocolate chips are yummy, you’d never know the cakes were full of carrots and for wheat allergy sufferers – these cakes make a very tasty substitute.

But this is just one recipe and I’ve got hundreds more to try. I will keep you all updated with my weekly baking endeavours, as I try to continue this hobby while taking at least a little of the naughtiness out of my usual recipes!

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2 Responses to “A new twist on baking”

  1. 1 Becky

    Mmmm looks yummy. I suspect maybe mum’s ground rice was heavier than rice flour. I went to Tesco’s yesterday (but way after you did) and found they had brown rice flour which looked a lot more like flour than yours did. This might explain their being a little heavy.
    I’m exhausted as I’m trying to pull of the Crank’s Roast dinner, which has lots of different parts. I’ve been cooking for about 3 hours! You’ll have to check it out on my blog http://rowantreestudios.wordpress.com/ maybe tomorrow when I’ve recovered!

    • Oh! That’s probably exactly why the cakes are denser than they should be. It’s weird because when I picked the rice up from mum, I thought “this is a weird texture”. Almost more like salt then flour? I will definitely remember that for next time. I don’t know what the crank’s roast dinner is, but post a link to your blog when you’ve done it and I’ll check it out.


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