Monthly Archives: February 2014

Carrot Cake Muffins (makes 12)

Recipe doubles easily, and the icing quantity is enough for 24!  These are incredibly moist, and very filling too, and a great use for those tired carrots in the bottom of your crisper drawer when you have absolutely had enough of soup.


175 g brown sugar (muscovado, soft brown, dark soft brown or whatever)
120 ml vegetable oil
2 medium eggs
200 g self-raising flour (white or wholemeal) (or make your own with 200g flour plus 2 tsp baking powder)
1 tsp bicarb
2 tsp mixed spice
50-100 g sultanas (or raisins)
190 g coarsely grated carrot (up to 250g whole carrots, depending on how much you have to trim)
1/2 an orange worth of zest
1/4 tsp salt


175 g icing sugar
2 Tbsp orange juice (1/2 an orange worth)
Enough boiling water to make a thick pouring consistency


  1. Beat sugar, eggs and oil until well mixed
  2. In a separate bowl, mix self-raising flour, bicarb and mixed spice
  3. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix well
  4. Add carrot, sultanas and zest and fold in
  5. Place in lined muffin tins and bake for 25 min at 180C

They are done when a skewer comes out clean.  The mixture does rise, but doesn’t dome up so you will have flat-topped muffins .

Once cooled, mix up the icing and drizzle in straight lines across all the muffins to give a zebra-striped effect.

The recipe can also be made as a 20×26 cm tray bake, in which case baking will be 45 min – 1 hour.

Next time, I will try reducing the amount of sugar, as these were very sweet.  If you want to freeze the muffins, do this before or after icing, but they will be easier to store if they are not iced.


Sticky Rice

As I have just promised this recipe to a friend who is feeding hordes of hungry teenagers, this will be a quick-and-dirty posting with no pictures and minimal chat.


225g bacon, chopped (or ham or frankfurters or….)
1 onion, finely chopped
100g mushrooms, sliced
450g rice (just over 2 cups)
425g can French Onion Soup (or improvise with beef stock, extra onions & a bit of cornflour)
600ml water


Fry bacon and onion gently until onion is translucent.
Add mushrooms and stir well to mix.
Add rice & fry for 1 minute.
Add soup and water.
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20-25 min until the liquid has been absorbed.

Put the pan in the middle of the table, provide a stack of bowls and spoons, and watch the stuff evaporate.

(you can add frozen peas if you need a bit of greenery)