Mary Berry’s Carrot and Orange Loaf
After my painful attempt at pain au raisin last week (excuse the pun – I had several lined up for my post last week, I just didn’t have the heart to put them in), I scuttled back to the safety of Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and made a nice and comfy carrot and orange loaf. It’s not something I’d usually make, but I did have half a bag of carrots left over from Sunday lunch that were starting to go soft and on 4th April it was, according to the internet, International Carrot Day.
I started with an orange. I grated the rind, cut the pith away as best I could and sliced it thinly – again as best I could. Oranges are slippery beasts aren’t they? I mixed the rind with softened butter, light muscovado sugar, self-raising flour, baking powder and mixed spice.
The recipe includes carrots, obviously – even my two-year-old would get this – but it doesn’t tell you what to do with them before adding them to the mixture. Could safely assume that peeling and grating would be the way to go? Probably. But what if was making my very first cake?
I peeled and grated them and then almost forgot to add them to the mix. I almost forgot the eggs as well. This mixture is a bit dry, I thought, a bit on the biscuity side, I’ll definitely be adding extra milk… then I saw my pile of carrots and basin of beaten egg sitting patiently on the work surface. This is the baker that, just a week ago, actually thought she might be up to pain au raisin.
Once the carrots and egg were in, I had a batter of perfect dropping consistency as required by the recipe. I poured it into a loaf tin and baked it at 160° fan for an hour. I crossed my fingers that it would rise. When I put it into the oven, the mixture only came about halfway up the tin.
Rise it did and, after an hour, I took a good-looking loaf out of the oven, put my thin orange slices onto the top and brushed it over with honey. It went back into the oven for another 15 minutes. I let it cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turned it out to cool completely on a wire rack.
Was it worth it?
It was a really good loaf. Moist with a tangy orange flavour. Lovely with a cup of tea, and a great way to get rid of a load of old carrots. Happy International Carrot Day.