This time a year ago Karen from Lavender and Lovage and I sat down and created Tea Time Treats, a monthly blogging and baking event concerning all things (you guessed it) Tea Time.
And exactly twelves months on, we are celebrating the first anniversary of Tea Time Treats with the theme: cake!
But what to bake? I dithered and deliberated. Contemplated and cogitated. Ruminated and reflected. And, erm, so on.
And eventually I had an epiphany.
Well, by 'epiphany' what I really mean is 'had a pretty good idea'.
For Tea Time Treat's very first birthday I will bake the nation's favourite cake!
The only problem was everyone had a view on the nation's favourite cake.
A BBC survey reckoned chocolate cake, echoed by a Good Food Channel vote. A Radio Times survey had Carrot Cake in the top spot. The Cherry Bakewell came top in a Mr Kipling poll. Meanwhile Delia plumps for a Ginger Cake and Mary Berry the classic Victoria Sponge. And a strawpoll of my mates on Twitter was most inconclusive.
So in the end I plumped for a cake that is consistently in my own personal Top Ten Bakes...
Carrot Cake with Clementine Icing
juice of 1 orange
75g pecan nuts or walnuts
3 large eggs
150g light brown soft sugar
200g self-raising flour (wholemeal or white)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
220g peeled and grated carrots
50g dessiccated coconut
grated zest of 1 orange
200g full fat cream cheese
100g icing sugar
Zest of 3 clementines
1. If possible, the night before baking the cake, place the sultanas and orange juice in a bowl and set aside. This will plump up the sultanas ensuring they are nice and juicy for the cake. If you haven't the time, simply pop the sultanas and juice in a microwave-proof dish and microwave for around a minute or so
2. Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 3/180C/160C fan/325F. Grease and line two 8inch/20cm sandwich tins with baking paper
2. Spread the nuts on an ungreased baking tray and toast for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven
4. Whisk the sugar, egg and oil together for a few minutes until all the sugar is nicely dissolved
5. Sift the flour, spices and bicarb into the bowl and stir gently
6. Add the sultanas, carrots, coconut, orange zest and 50g of the toasted nuts and stir gently until combined
7. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake the cakes for approximately 25-30 minutes or until risen, firm and springy to touch. Allow to cool in the tins for five minutes before removing the cool completely on wire racks
8. To make the icing: gently beat the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and zest of 3 clementines. Spread to sandwich the two cakes together and use the remainder on top of the cake. Decorate with the remaining nuts
- This recipe is a bit of a mash-up, with inspiration from Delia, a Good Food recipe and Felicity Cloake
- I took it into work for consumption by my cake-loving' colleagues. If this cake was a politician it would be like Boris and have a very high approval rating
- For more details on this month's Tea Time Treats challenge pop over to Karen's blog