A couple of weeks ago I needed something for pud to follow our Sunday lunch and wanted something quite light and not TOO heavy on the old calories. Even though I’ve made a lot of the savoury recipes in the two Hairy Bikers‘ diet books, I had yet to try the sweet ones. I suppose I had this silly idea that if it was low calorie or low fat, it wouldn’t taste right and not like a full fat version. How wrong I was. I absolutely detest shop bought and manufactured cakes and biscuits that are meant to be low fat or low sugar. Believe you, me I have eaten more than my fair share over the years and I think my taste buds have changed as I have got older.
So it was with mixed feelings that I attempted to bake the Hairy Bikers’ Carrot and Sultana cake from their first diet book, which was published last year. You get fixed ideas that low fat/sugar= low taste. This is not true as I’ve found out when cooking the other meals from the Hairy Bikers’ books. I had realised that not only did the dishes I prepare taste delicious, they actually were lower in calories.
The introduction to this rather delicious sounding cake says: ” We all know you can’t be eating cake every day when you’re keen to shed a few pounds,” I wish, but then the saying goes “You can’t have your cake and eat it!” The Hairy Bikers also say that “this cake is made with oil instead of butter and is super-moist, so non- dieters will love it too, if you let them have any!”
I tried to work out what makes this cake suitable as a treat for dieters and noticed that the quantities will be slightly smaller. Comparing it to another carrot cake recipe I noticed there was an absence of nuts, the amount of sugar was reduced somewhat. Some carrot cakes don’t have sultanas although I do put them in mine. The cake is also made without the traditional cream cheese frosting that you might put in the middle and on top of the cake, this was just a single layer cake. If you feel you cannot possibly do without a cream cheese topping then The Hairy Bikers say you can spread the cake with 200g of light reduced fat soft cheese. I know from experience that light cheese tastes disgusting in frosting so I chose to leave it off!
So, here’s how I got on with making the Carrot and Sultana Cake.
The first task was to try and grate the carrots without grating my fingers too!
Sunflower oil and brown sugar were whisked together in a large bowl. To this I then added some beaten egg.
The beaten egg was whisked up.
In another bowl I weighed out some self raising flour, sultanas, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder. I was meant to add some grated orange zest to it as well but I didn’t have an orange spare to use!
All the dry ingredients were folded into the wet ingredients but then I remembered I had forgotten to add in the carrot! After all it was carrot cake!
The mixture all ready and spooned into my large springform tin now with the added carrot inside!
The finished Carrot and Sultana Cake. I was worried it had burned a bit in the oven but it seemed fine.
The cake wasn’t as deep as a regular carrot cake but it looked more or less exactly like the one featured in the recipe book. It was a great relief.
The photo in the book shows a slice of carrot cake topped with grated orange zest on top and then sprinkled with a dusting of icing sugar. I just dusted my cake with icing sugar as I didn’t have any orange left. I served my carrot cake with a dollop of half fat creme fraiche.
I was very impressed with the recipe and have decided that I actually enjoyed the slice of carrot cake more without the cream cheese frosting on top of it. I thought I wouldn’t like it without but I didn’t miss it. So, this means I will be using this recipe in the future if we want to have carrot cake at home. At 239 calories a slice and the cake serves 10 it meant I could indulge without feeling guilty.
Love Sam xx