Carrot and walnut cake with orange and cinnamon cheese frosting

Nothing better than a square of carrot cake to bring at a picnic in the park right? There’s literally nothing better than picnics at the park in a sunny London for me, and that’s exactly what I’m about to do today on my day off, but FIRST, let me drop this easy and suuuuper moist one-bowl carrot cake recipe.

Depending on what you are using to bake your cake make one time or double batch of this recipe, i wanted more of a flat square piece for carrot cake but if you’re going for a round mould with a thick slice of cake i recommend making it double!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs
  • 150g flour (I used wholewheat but plain flour is perfect)
  • 150g olive oil
  • 200g grated carrots
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 150g walnuts
  • 100g Demerara
  • For the frosting:
    • 250g Philadelphia cheese
      100g butter
      150g icing sugar
      1 orange zest
      1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • As I said this is a one-bowl recipe so all you have to do is combine all the wet ingredients and folf the dry part at the end.

    Let’s start with eggs, oil, grated carrots and Demerara in a bowl. Separately scale flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk them well together. Now fold the dry mix in the wet mix with a spatula until smooth. Last but not least chop the walnuts and toss them in. Butter a square or round tin and bake in the oven at 180C for about 30min (if you decide to go for double batch, after the 30 mins check with a skewer, it might need 15 extra mins)

    While the cake is in the oven, combine in a mixing bowl Philadelphia, butter (make sure it’s soft otherwise you’ll have lumps) icing sugar, orange zest and cinnamon. Paddle until smooth and shiny. Add the frosting only when the cake has completely cooled down or it’ll melt and ruin the look!

    Hope you enjoy these sunny days as much as I do!

    Miaomiao

    Keto-friendly, aubergine and courgettes parmigiana

    Parmigiana is a super tasty dish, but traditionally to make it GREAT you’d have to fry the aubergine and that is not exactly healthy or light for your body. After realising just how much carbohydrates and sugars we were consuming we decided to embrace a ketogenic diet, my body had absolutely enough of all of that! I still believe in allowing yourself pasta or cake now and then but changing our lifestyle was much needed for us.

    Enough chitchat, here’s my keto-friendly parmigiana!

    INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

    • 3 aubergines
    • 3 courgettes
    • 10/15 plum tomatoes
    • Garlic
    • Basil
    • 200g Parmesan
    • 3 mozzarellas
    • 50g roasted pine nuts

    Let’s start making the TOMATO SAUCE : in a pan with olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic throw your tomatoes cut in chunks and Cook them until soft. Blitz and season then put back on the heart and reduce until the watery pats evaporates.

    While your tomato sauce is simmering, pre-heat the oven to 190C. Slice your aubergines and courgettes length wise, brush them with olive oil and a pinch of salt then roast them in the oven until golden and crunchy.

    A quick BASIL PESTO can give a good kick to an otherwise very light parmigiana!!

    Put 100g of Parmesan, 50g pine nuts, 80g fresh basil, one clove of garlic and olive oil in a blender until creamy and there you have it!

    All that’s left is layering and baking! I did aubergines/courgettes, pesto, tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan x3 times.

    Bake until the mozzarella and Parmesan form a nice crust and the water from the mozzarella is absorbed. (30 mins roughly)

    miaomiao

    Mango and coconut upside-down cake (gluten and dairy free)

    Anyone that knows me can say that my favourite things in the world are GLUTEN and DAIRY…but my stomach is getting more and more picky and I have to find ways to, you know, bake nice things and not complain all the time!! The traditional pineapple upside-down cake has always been a thing in my family, so my mum gave me my auntie’s recipe and I changed it up a lil bit!

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 250g mango slices in juice
    • 6tbsp juice from the poached mango slices
    • 100g demerara sugar (for caramel)
    • 100g demerara sugar (for cake mix)
    • 2 eggs
    • 150g gf flour
    • 30g desiccated coconut
    • 1tsp gf baking powder
      100g sunflower spread

    Make a caramel with the first 100g of demerara sugar, that is gonna go at the bottom of the cake mold. Spread the mango slices nicely on top of the caramel.

    Now for the cake mix: whisk the remaining sugar and eggs vigorously for a couple of minutes until fluffy then add flour and baking powder, the 6 tablespoons of juice from the can and the melted spread as our last ingredient. Spread the cake mix on top of the mango and bake in the over for 40 mins at 170C.

    Toast some coconut to sprinkle on top if you’d like aaaand that’s it! I hope you but mostly your tummies enjoy this quick and quite frankly cheap recipe! (My cat surely did!)

    miaomiao

    Oats and Peanut Butter Soft Bake Cookies

    Looking for a sweet treat without feeling a massive guilt afterwards? I got you covered. This healthy-ish recipe will satisfy any cravings and make you very popular between your friends. I worked out a vegan version as well and will write the adjustments in the ingredients below.

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 180g brown sugar
    • 220g margerine\vegetable spread softened
    • 2 eggs \ 90g apple sauce
    • 250g brown flour
    • 130g oats
    • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 100g dark chocolate chunks

    I can’t stress enough how easy this dough is and of course there is no need of any kitchen-aid, as my close friends know, my house is actually a ROOM so all the recipes I work on and photograph are as hand-made as possible!

    Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Place the softened butter, brown sugar, peanut butter and eggs in a large bowl and whisk them until creamy. Now add flour, baking powder and oats and fold with a spatula. I wrote 100g but feel free to add as many chocolate chips as you please, this is a no-judgement zone!

    You can either shape the with an ice-cream scoop, a spoon or simply your hands. Line them on a baking tray leaving enough space between them and bake for 14 mins.

    Now I can’t promise you are gonna be able to contain yourself and eat JUST THE ONE, but as I said they’re healthy-ish and life is too short to not eat sweets!!

    Miaomiao

    Walnut and Raisin Loaf

    To start off our adventure I’d like to share this bread recipe. The process is effortless and so versatile, perfect in the morning for french toasts with caramelised bananas, with coffee, butter and jam and Nutella ,or served at the end of a meal with a cheese selection. The key for the success of this loaf is the proofing, let’s have a look at the ingredients and I’ll guide you through the process with more details.

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 408g strong brown flour
    • 5g dried yeast
    • 1\2 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
    • 205g water, lukewarm
    • 50g raisins
    • 50g roasted walnut
    • 1 orange zest

    First things first: Soak the raisins. It’s crucial in order to remove the paraffin. If you want to give your loaf a different flavour, use rum, orange juice or syrup instead of water. While the raisins are soaking place flour, salt, Demerara and orange zest in a big deep bowl. Put the yeast with the warm water, whisk until dissolved and leave for 5 minutes. Add the water and yeast to the dry mix, work it with your hands until you form a shaggy ball. Cover the bowl with cling film or a wet towel and leave it to rise in a warm place for 7\10 hours.

    Now dust the surface and place your dough directly on the table; try to flatten it up and spread it with your fingers to form a rectangle. Scatter the chopped walnuts and raisins and fold them into the dough. Work on it until you feel satisfied, until you see the raisin and the walnut sprinkled through evenly. Cover again and let rest for one more hour.

    Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Bake at this temperature for 25\30 mins and leave it to rest on a rack before slicing.

    I hope you enjoy making this loaf as much as I do! If you end up trying one of my recipes I would love to hear your feedbacks ands see your pictures! Follow me on Instagram!! #thekittchenchronicles

    Miaomiao