Monday, December 27, 2010

Spicy carrot cake with lemon icing

This is perfect for one of those dark autumn afternoons in front of the fire. It's sweet, sticky, spicy and gooey.

225g grated carrots
6 tbsp olive oil
125g soft brown sugar, preferably rapadura
225g wholemeal flour
2-3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp powdered cinnamon
2 to 3 tbsp honey
4 tbsp fresh orange juice

For the icing:
175g icing sugar
Juice and rind of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3 and line an 18cm cake tin with non-stick paper. Mix the carrots, oil and sugar in a bowl, then add the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, honey and orange juice, and mix until everything is well combined - it will be quite sticky.
Spoon into the prepared tin, level the top, and bake for an hour and a quarter or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (cover the top of the cake with foil if there are signs of burning). Leave to cool in the tin.
Mix the icing sugar with the lemon rind and enough of the juice (about six to eight teaspoons) to make a thick coating consistency. Spread over the top of the cake and leave to set.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Brussels sprout and potato bubble and squeak

I can't claim any originality for this particular recipe as it's by Angela Hartnett, but it's great the morning after the night before. Top it with a fried egg and lots of brown sauce. Your Boxing Day hangover will thank you for it. Serves four.

50g bacon, finely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
50g butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme, picked
350g cooked brussels sprouts, chopped
450g cooked potatoes, lightly mashed (you can use leftover roast potatoes for this)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Plain flour, for dusting
Olive oil, for frying

In an ovenproof frying pan, lightly sauté the bacon and onion in a little butter until the onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the thyme leaves, then the sprouts and potato, and season generously. Set the pan aside and, once the mix is cool enough to handle, use your hands to mould it into four large patties.

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Dust the patties in flour, and fry lightly in butter and a touch of oil until golden brown on both sides (the oil helps prevent the butter from burning). Transfer to the oven for four or five minutes, to make sure they're heated through, and serve hot.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Protests hijacked by violent thugs.

“I may be permitted here to express my personal opinion. I shall no doubt not be accused of not loving liberty, but I know that not all movements of peoples lead to liberty.

But I know that great anarchy quickly leads to great exhaustion and that despotism, which is a kind of rest, has almost always been the necessary result of great anarchy.

It is therefore much more important than we think to end the disorder under which we suffer.
If we can achieve this only through the use of force by authorities, then it would be thoughtless to keep refraining from using such force”

Armand II, Duke of Aiguillon, 1789