Moist Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for batter

  • 260g all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 295ml vegetable oil
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 300g grated peeled carrots (5 to 6 medium carrots)
  • 100g coarsely chopped pecans
  • 65g raisins

Ingredients for frosting

  • 225g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 80ml whipping cream
  • 50g coarsely chopped pecans, for topping cake

Equipment

  • 2 round cake pans 9″
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Whisker
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • Cooling racks

Other

  • Baking paper
  • Cling film

Method

MAKE BATTER

  1. Heat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with baking paper.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until blended.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth.  Stir in the carrots, nuts and raisins.

BAKE CAKE

  1. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 35-45 mins or until when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  2. Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off parchment paper and cool completely.

TO FINISH

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time until fluffy. Pour in cream and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
  2. Chill covered with cling film until ready to frost cake.
  3. When the cake layers are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer with a spatula, place the other cake layer on top. Frost the top of the cake and decorate with pecans as you wish.
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Corned Beef Pie with Vodka Pastry!

Ingredients for the pastry:

  • 300g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200g butter
  • 70ml water
  • 30ml vodka
  • Pinch of sea salt

Equipment

  • Plastic bag
  • Plastic cup
  • Food processor
  • 2 medium pots
  • Oven proof dish
  • Rolling pin
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spoon

Other

  • Baking paper

Method

IMPORTANT TIP!!
Before you actually start this pastry, put the measured flour and baking powder in a bag, the water in a small plastic cup and place in freezer. Cut the butter in small cubes and put that also in the freezer. Do this before otherwise it would be too difficult to cut the butter once frozen. Leave them in freezer for about an hour.

  1. When you are ready to start the pastry, take out the ingredients from the freezer. Place the flour mix and the butter pieces in a food processor and mix until it starts resembling coarse crumbs.
  2. Start pouring the icy water slowly and also the vodka, until it all starts to come together. Work the dough lightly into a ball.
  3. Refrigerate for at least two hours or freeze for about 30 minutes. This dough can also be left in the freezer and used when you need to bake.
  4. When ready, take out dough and cut it into two. Lay on a piece of baking paper lightly floured and cover with another piece of baking paper.
  5. Butter pie dish.
  6. Start rolling out the dough until it is bigger than your pie pan. Pick up the dough which is on the paper and turn it over onto your pie pan, remove the paper slowly and gently press it in. Do not worry if it breaks, you can easily patch it! Prick the base with a fork.
  7. Add filling (as explained in below comment) pressing it down with the back of a spoon and proceed to roll out the top the same way. Prick the top with a fork too.
  8. Trim away extra dough (you can use these trimmings to decorate) and brush whole surface with a beaten egg.
  9. Place in a preheated oven and bake at 180c till golden brown.

 

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2 large tins corned beef
  • 1 small can tomato paste (about 120g)
  • 4 large carrots, finely diced
  • 500g frozen peas
  • 2 large onions finely diced
  • 6 small potatoes, cooked and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 vegetable cube
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • A little water

 

Method:

  1. Heat the oil and add the carrots and 1 onion and cook until carrots are soft. If necessary add a little water.
  2. Cook the peas in a different pan. Start by heating the oil and add the other onion. Cook until soft and stir in the frozen peas. Fill up the pan with water until it almost covers the peas. Add the veg cube , bring to boil and leave to simmer for around 20mins with the lid on. If they become too dry, add some more water.
  3. Preheat the oven at 180°C. In the meantime you can also cook the potatoes, do not cook them too much and set aside.
  4. When carrots & onion are cooked, add the corned beef and tomato paste. Give it a good stir and simmer for a couple of minutes until the corned beef smashes down.
  5. Stir well again and turn off the heat. Mash the potatoes and stir them in. Set the mixture aside.
  6. When peas are nice and soft, drain them well and add to the corned beef mixture.
  7. Butter pie pan and carry on with the pastry as explained above.

Sea Bass with Mediterranean Salsa

Ingredients

seabass2

  • 1 sea bass, gutted and scaled
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 tomato, washed and roughly chopped
  • a handful of pitted green and black olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • fresh basil
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

Equipment

  • Small bowl
  • Oven proof roasting tray

Other

  • Foil

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven on mark 7
  2. Score the sea bass from both sides of the fillet (watch video at 8:48 to see how). Place it on a piece of foil.IMG_E1216[1]
  3. For the salsa, prepare a small bowl and mix all the ingredients together. Finally drizzle a good amount of olive oil and give a good stir. 

  4. Pour the salsa all over the sea bass and make sure you close the foil tightly so that no steam can escape whilst cooking (watch video at 7:05 to see how). 

  5. Transfer the sea bass onto a roasting tray and place in oven. Leave to cook for around 20 minutes. 

Tip: To remove the bones, click here for an easy method!