So, as we previously said, I have had a lot of work.
One may ask me: So, what do you do when you have a lot of work and deadlines, and you want to unwind?
My answer: I invent cooking challenges against myself, blast music, and dance (Turbo Jam style) while whipping up a batch of cake.
That is the first reason why I started this bake-off. The second reason was, that for a long time now, I have been meaning to see what the difference between carrot and zucchini loaf cake is. In order to be fair to both ingredients, I worked off of a new cake recipe, so that I would not be partial to the AMAZING family secret recipe for carrot cake. As you may have guessed I went to Smitten Kitchen, for inspiration.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup oil
- 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup grated zucchini (1 zucchini grated)
- 1 cup grated carrots (2 medium carrots grated
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
- Preheat oven at 175˚C (350˚F). Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. (OR- I can’t buy all the bakeware out there this year, since we will be moving within a year. So I used disposable foil food take out tins, which still work, as they hold the same amount) and lined them with disposable loaf liners (like huge muffin papers!). This way they never stick to the sides, and I could take one of the 2 to work, and it looked beautiful!)
- In a large bowl prepare the batter. beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in the oil, sugar and vanilla.
- In another bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Stir flour mixture into egg mixture. Divide batter in two, and let the games begin!
- In one bowl, stir in 1 cup shredded carrots and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts. I love this combination!
- In second bowl, stir in 1 cup zucchini and 1/4 cup chopped pistachios. I thought it would be super pretty to have bright green sparkles throughout this cake! (Just look at that natural bright green colour!!)
- Pour into prepared pans, bake for 60 mins (keeping an eye on them after 50 mins).
NOTE: * These looked dangerously dry when they came out of the oven. Once they slightly cooled down, I quickly wrapped them in cellophane to lock in all the moisture. All baked goods using whole wheat flour, tend to absorb much greater amounts of liquid (you may want to add even a 1/2 cup extra shredded vegetable to inject even more moisture.) ** Nutmeg is a stupendous addition to this recipe because it really makes it warm and spicy! (would work great with pumpkin and beets too!)
AND THE WINNER IS…
I am a little partial to zucchini because of the beautiful green sparkles throughout the cake! (I wish there were some nice orange nuts to brighten up the carrot loaf!) But, it turns out that they really don’t taste very different. The only thing is that carrot added some further sweetness, zucchini had a little bit of a bite to it, almost as if it had a little extra kick of spice. (See how nice and moist i turned out?? CELLOPHANE believe in it!!)
So this weekend, somewhere between the James Bond: Diamonds are Forever Bop, visiting the Ashmolean Muesum(Oldest museum in the UK), and honoring Las Iguanas happy hour specials(as per Fah’s reco), I managed to do a little cooking.
Firstly, I found Harina de Maiz!!… at the happy hour restaurant/bar called “Las Iguanas”(for £ 1.85)… Which meant 1 thing… Feta filled arepas! In one word, YUM! I took your advise and sliced the feta, instead of crumbling it in, and so they had a thin even layer of feta throughout. Admittedly, I think it was a little too thin, but they were my first go at arepas! Have some improving to do, but next time J will help me on the process… to show me how to properly make them in person. Question: were your arepas really crumbly? Mine were falling apart a bit, is there a secret to arepa shaping?
Secondly, I made the banana bread recipe you sent me!… well sort of 😉 I kinda changed a few things, mostly decreased the sugar from the original amount intended, because I doubled the chocolate, and injected a bunch of nuts!
FRANTASTIC Banana Bread!
- 1/2 cup / 125 g butter (at room temp)
- 1 cup / 240 g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 mashed ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup / 120 gr sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups / 500g whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup / 200g bar of milk chocolate (broken into chunks)
- 1/2 cup / 120g mixed chopped nuts (peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF / 175ºC. While oven is heating, place chopped nuts on a piece of foil in the oven to roast for 5-7 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.
- Beat butter and sugar until well combined (fluffy).
- Add eggs and beat for about 2 minutes.
- Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla and beat for about 2 minutes. Remove nuts from oven, and let cool.
- Stir in dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) with a large spoon.
- Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
- Grease two loaf pans, or one big pan, as I did.
- Fill each pan, making sure they are even.
- Bake for 40 min – 1 hour(because mine was a much shallower cake, it only needed 25 mins). Keep an eye on things. It will be done, when you insert the tip of a knife into it and blade comes out clean.
YUMMMM, thanks for the recipe!!