Wednesday, September 21, 2011

42/655 - Simple carrot cake

As I was measuring out the ingredients for this recipe, it struck me that others might find it odd that I do not keep self-raising flour in my pantry. This is not due to a lack of space, but rather it harks back to an incident that occurred a couple of years ago.

My pantry is filled with ingredients stacked in Tupperware containers, which I prefer not to label. Instead I use a trick that my mum taught me many years ago, of cutting the name of the item from the packet and sliding it down inside the container so that it can be read from the outside. Not only does this allow me to rotate different ingredients through the containers, but there is something about the look of all the different colours and fonts showing through the containers that appeals to me.

This is, of course, a great system until a label gets lost. This would not be a problem if the contents of the container were obvious, however it is certainly a problem when the label is lost on a container of flour. By the time I noticed it was missing and was trying to figure out if it was self-raising or plain, it just happened to be the last container of flour in the cupboard and so the process of elimination was not an option that was open to me. I finally figured out which type it was by making pancakes with it, figuring that if they remained nice and thin then the flour was plain.

Clearly scarred by this experience, I made the decision that I would only buy plain flour from then on, and would convert it to self-raising as required. This is done by simply adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder to each cup of flour, and voilà, you have self-raising flour! If you don't have baking powder, you can also use 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar and 1/2 teaspoon of bi-carb soda to each cup.

I have made this cake a number of times now and each time I have been thrilled with the beautiful, moist texture. The amount of olive oil in the cake not only makes it taste divine, but also means that the cake just slides right out of the tin with no need to grease it first.

Added bonus = 7 year old boy who loves the cake, hidden walnuts and all.

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