Times flies when you’re having fun, and that's what I have been doing this past year; having fun!
Before I get back to cooking like a mad woman, I thought it might be quite nice to share with you a new recipe I've developed to celebrate my 1st birthday, or blogiversary!
I have concocted a moist and delicious carrot cake, it's spiced with cinnamon and cardamom and it's filled and topped with mascarpone icing. I've tried to make it similar makes my Mum's Greek (wheat flour) walnut cake, minus the wheat. One thing that makes Mum's so special is the texture, the large pieces of walnuts add a really nice crunch, so I really recommend buying whole walnuts and cracking them yourself. I bought some nice whole Australian walnuts, they're much better than the overseas product found in most supermarkets, which are packed in plastic and crushed into tiny pieces. Walnuts are in season now, so check out your local farmers market. You need texture for this one!
It's been an exciting twelve months!
A few highlights of which I am very proud and humbled :
* My blog was voted into the Top 30 Food and Wellbeing category for Voices of 2014 on Kidspot.
* My food photography won 2 awards this year via social media, the first award being 1st prize with Fairfax Good Food #goodfoodcomp, which gave me the opportunity to learn from Per-Anders Jorgensen, one of the best food photographers in the world today, at his Australian master class. And the second was the winner of SBS Feast magazine's #pagetoplate.
* More recently I was so thrilled to see a little write up from Food Daily; they shared 10 of their favourite Australian food blogs, the "cream of the crop" - and Cle-ann Food & Lifestyle Blog is among those mentioned! Thanks Food Daily.
But I mustn’t forget where it all began, a BIG thanks to In Season Farmers Markets, it was the start I needed.
Thank you to my partner and best friend Hugh who inspires me every day, not only is he gorgeous but he's an incredibly talented photographer & creative, my recipe tester and also the reason why every recipe I post is gluten free!
Cheers to my super best friend Simon Childerhouse for the website logo's in exchange for a lifetimes worth of food.
Thanks to my friend and super-duper copy editor Denny, you’re a good egg, and all my friends who interact with my Facebook page - it keeps it really fun! To my subscribers - thank you you're all awesome! And, finally my mum who I love so much and has always supported everything that I do! Enough, this is sounding like a speech!
My freelance recipe development, food styling and food photography has really taken off, nothing makes me happier than putting my energy in to doing something I love. I would love to show everyone the images of a current job, but the project has yet to launch!
Back to the food (when I initially wrote that line I discovered I'd actually written 'Bake to the food' - it's always on my mind!). Food brings us together and nothing is better than sharing a meal with your besties. As Julia Child's said "People who love to eat are always the best people." treat your best people with this cake. And if you need a wine to pair with carrot cake, you could try a Riesling, enough said - let's party!
CARROT APPLE WALNUT CAKE WITH MASCARPONE ICING (GLUTEN FREE)
For the cake
- 5 free range eggs
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 1/3 cup carrot, grated
- 1 cup apple, grated
- 1 cup or 80 g walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250 g almond meal
- Pinch of salt
For the mascarpone icing
- 1 cup cream
- 1/3 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
- 250 g mascarpone cheese
- Zest of 1 orange
Pre-heat oven to 160 °C.
Oil a 22 cm spring-form cake tin and line with baking paper.
In a bowl beat eggs and sugar with a hand blender. Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix with a spoon until combined. Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden on top, and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake and comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven. When it's cool enough to handle take the cake out of the tin, remove lining, and place on the wire rack to completely cool.
For the icing, beat the cream and sugar until almost stiff peak stage, add mascarpone and zest and beat on a lower speed to combine.
To assemble. When the cake is completely cool, slice in half, making sure more of the bottom is left so there is less weight on the cream. Spoon on the cream and smooth out until it almost touches the edges. Pop the top back on and smooth over the remaining icing.
Nona To Nana is a documentary-style cookbook that celebrates the living culinary traditions of fifteen Australian grandmothers from diverse cultural backgrounds. The book is $59.95 and can be found in all good bookshops Australia-wide. However, you can also order direct through Nonna To Nana website
To be in the running to win a copy of Nonna To Nana, simply subscribe to CFLB before 11.59pm Melbourne time Wednesday 21st May 2014.
To subscribe simply enter your email address top left of this page or via the subscribe tab on the Facebook page.
And, if you feel like showing a little extra love why not like the post, that's the little love heart right next to comment!
(The winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email. Prize ends 11.59pm Wednesday 21st May 2014. Australian readers only. Sorry, prize offer not available for international readers)