Everyday we hear that prices of commodities are going up. Next up is petrol. On everyone’s lips is the catch phrase “lifestyle changes”. Don’t complain you don’t have money when you still drink coffee that costs RM10 per cup. Or eat a slice of carrot cake that costs RM5. I’m not saying we shouldn’t splurge once in a while for a treat. But if we regularly eat stuff like this, it’s no wonder our pockets will be burned through with a hole the size of Mars.
Eating in is one of the best ways to save money. For my family of six, I can cook a nice western meal for less than RM30. The same meal will cost me more than double in the restaurants. A simple fare of rice and three dishes cost anything from RM10 to M20 depending on how much meat I serve.
And for some sweet indulgence, bake your own carrot cake. The above cake costs me less than RM10 to make. (Compare that with RM5 per slice!) We had it for dessert and breakfast. For a long time I had been searching for a nice and simple recipe (using easily available ingredients). Recently my friend Jo who loves to bake, gave me this recipe. It is healthy too as there’s no butter and plenty of carrots.
No. 3 doesn’t like vegetables and I was able to persuade him to take a small slice to try. “You won’t be able to taste the carrots,” I said.
“No! No! Don’t ask him to try, he’ll eat a lot and we’ll get less!” the older kids had said earlier.
“Mmmm… nice,” no. 3 said after a bite, and served himself a second helping.
If you like to try your hand at it, here’s the recipe :
Swiss Carrot Cake
- 5 eggs
- 9 oz sugar
- 9 oz finely grated carrot
- 9 oz ground almonds (I used 4 oz only)
- 1 lemon juice and peel (I couldn’t find lemon so I used juice of 4 limes)
- 3 oz plain flour (I used 8 oz to make up for the shortfall in almonds)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
Whisk egg yolks and sugar till it looks like thick cream. Add carrot, lemon juice, peel and ground almonds. Stir until well mixed. Fold in alternately egg white (which had been whisked till firm) and flour. Pour into 8″ tin and baked in preheated oven at 180 deg C for 30-40 minutes. Spread icing when cake is cool.
Topping : 8 oz icing sugar mixed with lemon juice.
I didn’t use Jo’s topping recipe. Instead I used a cream cheese icing which I copied from a cinammon roll recipe.
Cream cheese icing :
- 3 oz package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
Beat all ingredients together till well mixed. Spread on cooled cake. I only used half of this serving for the cake. The remainder can be refrigerated for future use.
Sometimes the modification I make to the recipes yields disastrous results but fortunately the cake turned out pretty good. The colour is yellowish orangy and the texture is moist and crumbly. Next time I will use brown sugar.
Anyone has a simple and tasty carrot cake recipe to share? (Simple as in easy to make and ingredients are easily available).