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Friday, October 21, 2011

Secret Carrot Cake (& Healthy Delicious Frosting for Dummies)

When you have people over there is SO much to do, isn't there?  It's not just "Get-the-vacuum and those-shoes-out-of-the-hallway".  It's rubbing off those smears down the wall that we actually don't mind unless someone else is looking; the fresh flowers to be brought in, cut and arranged which we really should do every week regardless of visitors or not!; improvements to the general scent about the place and shininess of the bathroom that needs attending to. Who has time to bake a fresh cake, leaving the home in a fuggy scent of warmth and spice, and present it frosted and freshly cut to guests?

Me. And You!  with this recipe.
The most discerning of my foodie friends and acquaintances (chef, naturopath, bakery-owner, primary teacher who gets lots of free baked goodies brought to her, tv crew of Come Dine With Me) just adore this cake. The secret?  it's prepped in 5 minutes, has three ingredients and is fool-proof delicious- especially with my Healthy Frosting for Dummies.

The 3 ingredients are:
1 packet of Wrights baking Carrot Cake mix
1 cup of chopped dates
1 cup hot water.

On the pack it suggests you'll need the packet, oil and water.  I'm sorry this recipe contains gluten; and I do feel a little guilty that it's basically a packet mix with a wholesome twist- hence the secret! But I'm not sorry that we can swap the 1/4 cup vegetable oil for a cup of dates soaked in hot water.
Have your cake- and don't feel so bad about eating it, too!

how to...

  1. Boil the kettle and in a heat proof bowl, cover the dates with a cup of hot water.  
  2. Leave for 10-15 mins until lukewarm, then add the packet mix and whisk for 1 min with an electric beater or 3 mins by hand.  If the mixture isn't sloppy enough to pour, add warm water whilst mixing to loosen.  Don't over mix or the cake will become tough and lose it's dense muffin-type chewiness.
  3. Leave to cook in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees/300F for approx 50 minutes in a lined loaf tin until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  

(Visitors coming?  You need a game plan.  I love to:
clean the house, 
make the cake
pop it in the oven
make myself ready
bring it out of the oven
set up the drinks display, ice and lemon
make the icing
receive my guests
after they've warmed up a bit with a drink and some chat, I go back into the kitchen to ice the cake
lovely photo from
then serve it
in that order :)

My Healthy Delicious Frosting for Dummies is thick greek yoghurt with just a bit of honey stirred through it.  Spread over the cake thickly, and sprinkle generously with dessicated coconut.

I hope you try it!  No matter how rustic it looks sliced into thick chunks...

(I believe... ) our guests don't remember whether there was a black mark on the wall.
They remember the lovely warm smell of baking when coming into a home, enjoying  refreshing cup of tea with cake, and how they got to take a big chunk of it home!

What's your secret recipe confession?  Do share, below!

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