End of hibernation, effects of gravity and let me eat cakes!

It’s been a real doozie of a winter, hasn’t it? For weeks I’ve been trying to steel myself to get the groove on , and start walking to work again. Then I check the Met Office forecast, peek out of the window and see that it’s still nary a glimmer above zero degrees. The 40 minute trek doesn’t seem very appealing. Ok, maybe next month. Actually, March starts in just a few hours, and at present, it doesn’t look like the cold weather is going to let up. As a result of a spectacular amount of inactivity since , I don’t know, the last time I cut the grass at the end of the summer, let’s just say my jeans are getting a little tight around the middle.

So, qu’est ce que je peux faire? Well, this week I came up with an interesting two-pronged approach. Number one, I would sign up for a course with a personal trainer, and try to get into better shape. A shape that less resembles a spider with skinny limbs and a big round middle. Part of this new ‘regime’ (funnily enough, also the word the French use for ‘diet’) I have to keep a diary of all the food I eat. Now, it’s certainly not going to be a who’s who of fast food namechecks, but I think I might be in trouble for eating a bit too well. Not quite Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, but I’ve been known to overdo it on the luxury ingredients.
The next thing the girl might do is figure out how to make some lower-fat cakes. So yesterday morning, I trawled the interweb and world of online recipes to find some likely candidates. The first one I came across was on the Waitrose website, and was for zesty carrot and orange cupcakes. I know I’ve posted a carrot cake recipe before, but reckon that one might be too heavy to work well for muffins or cupcakes. I did a bit of tampering by adding in some walnuts (naughty!) and freshly grated ginger, but also reduced the fat content by minimising the oil, and also using extra light Philly cheese for the icing. The frosting was a lot more ‘wet’ than with regular creme cheese, but I figured it was worth a small compromise, seeing as we were being virtuous and all, and means I can eat more! 
Ingredients for the cakes 
2 large free range eggs
190g sugar- a nice mix of caster and muscavado works well
125ml organic sunflower oil
200g self-rasing flour, sifted
4 tsp spices (whatever you prefer i..e cinammon, nutmeg. Crystalised ginger and freshly grated root ginger are great)
A few chopped walnuts
Zest of 1 washed orange 
2 or 3 medium carrots (check they’re sweet – makes all the difference!), grated 
A teaspoon of vanilla extract 
For the icing
200g tub of extra light cream cheese
Icing sugar, sifted
Zest of 1 washed orange
A teaspoon of vanilla extract
Some walnuts to decorate
Oven Temperature
180c (or just under for fan-assisted)  

In a large mixing bowl, put in the eggs, sugar and oil, and whizz up with a hand blender for a couple of minutes. Then add in all of the other ingredients for the cake, and mix with a spoon. Check the spices seasoning, as you might want to add in a bit more cinnamon etc. 
Spoon the mixture into cake cases , about 3/4 full, and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 
For the icing,  start with the cream cheese, zest and vanilla extract and mix around with a wooden spoon until soft. Then add in icing sugar until you get the right consistency for spreading, or piping on top of the cakes. The nice thing about adding the zest is that it gives the icing a bit of colour. Once the cakes are iced, decorate with a walnut, or sprinkle of orange zest.
Ok, so they’re not exactly going to help me loose the girth, but these are a nice healthy-ish compromise. Let’s all eat cakes!

1 Comment

  1. Oh, and don't forget to use up the yummy organges after they're sitting there naked and zested. Nice glass of juice, thanks!

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