Alice Fotheringham, Infant Nutrition Expert with organic baby food brand Piccolo, serves up some truly delicious recipes which are sure to be a big hit with all ages this Easter holiday…
You cannot beat this classic carrot cake recipe. This was handed down by my mum, and is a failsafe recipe that can survive freezing, making into a loaf, muffins or a huge three tier number. This recipe makes enough for two layers.
300ml (1/2 pint) vegetable oil
350g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
450g carrots, peeled and grated
100g chopped toasted pumpkin seeds or pecans (optional)
100g butter, softened
1 (200g) tub cream cheese, softened
450g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g chopped toasted pumpkin seeds
carrot peelings to decorate
1.Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and flour a 9inch/ 23cm cake tin.
2.In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, caster sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
3.Mix in flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots and fold in pecans or pumpkin seeds if using. Pour into the prepared tin.
4.Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in cake tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
5.To make topping: a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy… spread over the top of cake when it has cooled. Decorate with toasted seeds or pecans and carrot peelings.
Suitable from 1 year
Cook: 50 minutes
Suitable for freezing uniced
TIP: To avoid lumps in the icing, make sure the butter and cheese are very soft.
Cream Cheese Easter Biscuits
These biscuits are delicious iced or un-iced. The dough really benefits from a long chill in the fridge before baking. So I would recommend making the dough the day before decorating.
140g caster sugar
225g butter, softened
85g cream cheese, softened
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
320g plain flour
120g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp boiling water
Food colouring (optional)
1.In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter until fully mixed together. Mix in the cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth.
2.Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 2 hours, or overnight.
3.Preheat oven to 170C. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 25mm thickness with lightly floured biscuit cutters. Place 2 to 3cm apart on ungreased baking trays. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool biscuits completely before icing.
4.To make the icing sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in enough water until the mixture is the consistency of thick cream. Beat until white and smooth and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Mix in some colouring, if you like, and use immediately.
Makes 20 biscuits
Preparation: 20 minutes plus chilling and decorating
Cook: 10 minutes
Tip: To flavour the icing try replacing the water with lemon or orange juice, or add a few drops of vanilla or almond extract.
The exciting new organic baby food brand Piccolo is bursting with goodness and Mediterranean flavours. Inspired by homemade recipes to tickle tiny taste buds, the delicious range includes Lamb Ratatouille, Squashed Red Pepper & Chickpea and Spring Vegetables & Chicken to name a few. Find in the baby & toddler section at Asda. Find more recipes at mylittlepiccolo.com