There was only one question on everyone’s lips at the school gate this morning:
‘Did you watch it?’
If you are lucky enough to live within the catchment area of the BBC (we are sort of BBC hinterland here) you will know that I mean The Great British Bake-Off Final. There is something special happening when the winner of a British cake-making competition make headlines in the Irish news.
As part of the build up to Bake-Off fever Middle Girl made her own showstopper carrot cake for us. While she was busy with that, at the other end of the kitchen table, Small and Teenage Girls set up a plasticine workshop.
This chocolate doughnut is the size of my baby fingernail.
It’s filled with chocolate sauce. I think it looks like Muppet eyes.
Back to real cake: We love the carrot cake recipe from Lilly Higgins’ gorgeous book, Make Bake Love. EDIT Friday 9th October. Lilly Higgins has kindly given permission to share her excellent Carrot Cake recipe. You can find it here.
We make our own cheaty cream cheese which really is the icing on the cake. I line a nylon sieve with a clean, fine teatowel and pour a 1000g tub of Greek-style yogurt into it.
I let that drain overnight (4/5 hours will do). The liquid that drains off is whey and can be used to make bread. The strained yogurt (labneh) tastes lighter and cleaner than shop-bought cream cheese. It’s much cheaper too.
Middle Girl added 150g of icing sugar and the zest of an orange (lime is great too) to 600g of labneh. You have to try this, it is sensational! You don’t, strictly speaking, need a cake to put it on! The licking of this bowl is the most fought over. OK, it’s not exactly a health food but a little bit of this cake will do you a power of good. I’m very proud of my middle-sized baker.