Thursday, 23 December 2010

Bun in the oven

Well, it's my happy birthday today and I'm STILL waiting for my cake (which I suspect isn't going to materialise, Marty!). Anyhow, I have already received the best gift I could possibly imagine this year, and with that I have some breaking news about the imminent arrival of baby pie! 

Yes, friendly cottage is going to come alive with all things baby in early March next year (oh my wallpaper!). I am seven months pregnant now and thankfully all has gone really well. I have been so lucky to have flown it so far, especially as I've had such a nutty work schedule. I by now, have a very diligently trained food styling assistant! So we (baby pie and I) are planning on taking things a little easier from now on with lovely yoga and swimming classes booked in the New Year, lots of nesting to do and the exciting prospect of a baby room to decorate.

So anyhow, there's my bun in the oven news. I'm STILL waiting for my birthday cake, so in the meantime, here's a cake-to-self recipe for my mini carrot cakes. Pink for a girl or should it be blue for a boy????


Makes 24

100g walnut halves
400g soft light brown sugar
450g plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
pinch salt
325ml vegetable oil
75ml buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
450g carrots (about 4 medium), peeled and finely grated
1 tbsp grated ginger
zest of 1 large orange
200g cream cheese
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g icing sugar
zest of 1 large orange

Preheat the oven to 180C (360 F / Gas Mark 4). Line two 12 hole muffin tins with muffin paper cases.

Toast the walnuts in the oven for about 10 minutes to release their flavour. Remove and finely chop.

In the meantime, stir the sugar, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and salt together in a large bowl, leaving a well in the centre.

Measure the vegetable oil and buttermilk into a large jug and add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat together until combined and pour into the dry ingredients. Add the grated carrots, ginger, orange zest and chopped walnuts and stir everything together until well mixed.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, swapping the trays around on the shelves half way through. The muffins should be risen, deep golden in colour and cooked through. Leave to cool on a wire rack

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Beat the cream cheese and butter in a food mixer for a few minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides, sift in the icing sugar, add the orange zest and then gently beat again to give a smooth, thick paste. Refrigerate until ready to use to firm up a little. Pipe or spread the icing onto each cooled carrot cake before devouring!


lemonade kitty said...

Congratulations what wonderful news, I'm so pleased for you both and a very happy birthday too. Lucey xx

Millie said...

I new here, but big congratulations to you both! We have 4 children and it is such an exciting time, all the preparing for a new arrival (or arrivals in our case, third time round). I can't wait to see what you do with the baby's room.
Happy Christmas to you!

Sadhbh said...

Happy Birthday and CONGRATULATIONS Sharon! Fantastic news! I'm very happy for you both. Can't wait to hear more about Baby Pie's arrival xxx

likemamusedtobake said...

Hi Sharon,

Belated birthday wishes, and congratulations again on your wonderful news. Have a wonderful Christmas.

josie said...

hi there,

i found your blog thanks to imen @marriendanirish farmer.

congratulations on your baby!

we have the same birthday, happy belated birthday!

Ciara said...

Woo! Happy days ahead for you dear one!! Hugs and kisses to you both.

marty and sharon said...

thank you all so much for such lovely wishes. we're very excited and look forward to sharing more happy days in friendly cottage with you! s x

Lorna said...

Wonderful news Sharon, goodness, with your tales of heading off for filming on snowy roads and long days, I'm glad to hear you are safe and well, many congratulations to both of you and looking forward to hearing whether all will be pink or blue :-)

jaboopee said...

such excitement and fun ahead, congratulations to you three!

michelle b @ every little thing said...

ohmygoodness!! congratulations sharon and marty!! I can't wait to see your little angel whether a little pinkie or a little bluey! And happy belated birthday to you!! Oh and merry Christmas and Happy new year too! xoxo

Silvana said...

Happy New Year Friendly Cottage! And make sure you put your feet up Miss Sharon and make the most of the peace and quiet. While you've still got some! Xxx

Inspire my house pretty said...

congratulations thats lovely news xx

marty and sharon said...

thanks lorna, elaine, michelle, vana & inspire my house pretty! yes, bluey or pinky, that is the great debate. trying to do up the nursery and pick clothes is proving difficult!! we'll know soon enough now anyhow! xx

Brownieville Girl said...

Fantastic News - Congratulations :-}

salma said...

Congratulation!!!And sorry for i late apperciate!!!looks so yummy or delicious recipe in here i will try to make this one for my cute mother!!!!
Transparent business card
Pvc cards

Sakk-Chob Kinkhongaroy said...

I noticed that you have lots of yummy recipes on your page and I would like to suggest you have a look at our Top Food Blogs section here:

If you want to add your food blog to the list and have your recipes indexed on, all you have to do is follow the instructions here:

Hopefully hearing from you soon,

Sakkarin SÂș