These were a happy accident. I was planning to make some carrot cupcakes for Christmas and potentially as a second entry for the Christmas Carrot Blogger Competition. And I decided I’d ‘Christmas’ up the recipe I found by using rather more dried fruit, soaking the fruit in rum first and then by using my own mix of Christmas spices. And then, since I didn’t have soft light brown sugar, I substituted. I do have some wonderful dark brown molasses sugar in the cupboard which I can happily eat by the teaspoonful. It is very soft and has a kind of ‘burnt toffee’ flavour. So, I thought I’d use that.
Now as I made up the mix I thought it looked a little dark. But, since the sugar was one of the last things into the bowl, at that stage I thought I might as well go ahead and cook the cakes. The result was a lot closer to a light Christmas pudding than carrot cake. But without the hours of steaming and in bite-sized portions.
So here’s what I did
120ml (4 fl oz) vegetable oil
200g (7oz) Billington molasses raw cane sugar
300g (10 oz) grated carrot (weight when grated)
125g (5 oz) mixed dried fruit soaked overnight in rum
75g (3oz) walnuts, chopped
180g (6 1/2 oz) self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
About an inch stick of cinnamon,
A good half a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 180c
Blitz the spices in a spice grinder or use a pestle and mortar till you have a nice fine powdery mix
Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and spices together
Mix all the dry ingredients together, first the carrot, fruit and nuts, then stir in the spiced flour mix
Beat the eggs lightly and add them and the oil to the mixture
Put the mix into a muffin tray or cup-cake cases and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes
You should get 10-12 muffin sized ‘pudding cakes’
Allow to cool and store in an airtight tin on some kitchen roll if you haven’t cooked them in paper cases.
You can eat these straight from the oven, or warm these up in the microwave for 30 seconds and serve them as a dessert with a good dollop of cream or rum butter or eat them cold. I made my rum butter using Karen Burn Booth’s recipe on her blog, Lavender and Lovage, with the same Billingtons Molasses sugar I used in the cakes.