The One and Only…

“Jo’s Carrot Cake”

I have promised several times to add this recipe here, so, to fulfill that promise here goes…

2 cups finely grated carrot
2 medium eggs
1 cup sugar (the recipe doesn’t state what kind, but I always use soft brown)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup plain flour
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt (if desired)
optional: 3/4 cup sultanas/raisins

Prep time:20 mins
Cooking time: 30-45 mins
Makes: 16 squares
WW Points Per square (without frosting): 4.5pts

PrepareĀ a square baking tin – non – stick is best.

Beat eggs, sugar oil and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl until it’s well combined and looks like a rather thick glue! Add the sieved dry ingredients and fold in – mixing as little as possible – just keep folding. Then add carrots and sultanas (if using them) and again fold in – mixing as little as possible.

Pour into your prepared tin and bake in a moderate oven 170-180 C for 30-45 mins.
Leave to cool in the tin.

If you wish to add frosting, the following recipe works really well, but makes a very runny frosting. if you prefer something more solid, use more icing sugar.

225g full fat soft cheese (though I always use lower fat)
65g butter (room temperature)
400g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the cheese and butter until combined – add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Yum…but WW points…? Forget it – this is not going to fit on any kind of Points or Core plan…!

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Tirami Su

Over the years I’ve made lots of Tirami Su for dinner parties, gifts (!), and just to eat – as comfort food for the girls… And many many times I’ve been asked for my recipe. I’ve always said no and I’ve come under a lot of criticism because of it. So, now it’s time to reveal why… I don’t follow a recipe. I’ve been making Tirami Su for nearly 20 years (yes, I’m that old ;-)) and over the years, I’ve just learned to follow my instinct. Originally, I was given someone’s grandmother’s recipe, and for years, this formed the basis of my dessert, but I can’t remember the last time I got the recipe out of the box, until now…

Below is the translation of the original recipe I got…but it’s not the same as the version I turn up to dinner parties with…:-)

NOTE: This does not contain cream, custard powder or any other “British” additions!

2 eggs (separated)
50g caster sugar
lemon rind
pinch salt
300g mascarpone
fresh espresso coffee (about four doubles will do it)
brandy (or other alcohol of choice)
lady finger/sponge biscuits (1-2 boxes)

Beat together the egg yolks and sugar. These should be a very pale cream colour by the time you’re done. Fold into this cream, the mascarpone, and the lemon peel. this bit is quite time-consuming as you’re folding in a lumpy cheese, and you shouldn’t beat!

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until forming stiff peaks. Fold this mixture into your cream, until all combined. To to one side for now.

With the coffee cooled, dip your sponge fingers into it – not soaking the biscuit totally. With the coffee biscuits line the bottom of a glass serving dish until it is covered. Then sprinkle the this “biscuit base” with your chosen alcohol (I prefer Amaretto) – don’t be too heavy handed with it at this stage.

Add a layer of your cream mixture on top of the biscuits and then repeat the biscuits dipped in coffee layer, alcohol and then mascarpone cream on top again.

Put in the fridge for at least 6 hours before you need it.
Just before you serve, sift cocoa powder over the surface.

Wow, the way I make mine differs somewhat…just little bits that I’ve changed over the years…e.g. I don’t add 25g sugar per egg yolk, and I add more alcohol, but not necessarily to the biscuit layer. I don’t add any salt…etc. etc.

Happy cooking!