Bake Off 2015 is over. Holy moly it's been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.
Hands up who else cried?
I was not expecting to. I thought yes, there would be nerves aplenty but not actual tears coming from my eyes over someone else crying about baking. I never thought this would happen.
One of my friends put it rather nicely:
"Yes, crying over cake is a little ridiculous, but you know what's worse? Crying over other people crying over cake!"
But hey, it happened, we all did it. I think the moment that really got me was when Mary started getting all choked up at the end. My eyes just weren't prepared for this kind of emotion. Also can we all just take a moment to pause and appreciate the way she says the word 'layers'. This woman can do no wrong.
Anyway, an enormous congratulations to the cutest little lady in all the land - Nadiya! A well deserved winner and although I was rooting for Tamal I am so happy she won! She's adorable, brilliant and such a wonderful baker.
Back to Tamal.. Oh Tamal. Your showstopper made me love you even more. I didn't even know that was possible. A sticky toffee pudding fruit cake is everything I've ever wanted. Bake me one sometime and then we can run off into the sunset and be best friends forever.
Anyway, on we go!
For my final bake, I decided to have a go at making an English classic. A gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan friendly carrot cake! It's absolutely glorious. It's probably my most complicated bake yet, just because of the huge amount of ingredients but SO worth it.
It just goes to show that with a few healthy swaps, you can still have your cake and eat it!
It's light, moist and packed with feel-good ingredients.
Carrot cake will forever remain one of my favourite desserts. It's so simple to transform into a healthy dessert without having to sacrifice on texture or flavour.
Creating healthy desserts that are lightened up versions of the originals, packed full of goodness and taste incredibly yummy, is probably one of my favourite things in life.
It's marvellously moist and tender. If you're looking for a versatile cake that can be a mid-afternoon snack, breakfast and an after-dinner treat then look no further!
125ml coconut oil
125ml maple syrup
3 tbsps chia seeds with 4 tbsps water
180ml almond milk
200g buckwheat flour
30g quinoa flour
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp baking powder
Zest of half a lemon
Zest of half an orange
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 small organic carrots grated
60g chopped dates
50g chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 200C and assemble all your ingredients.
Grease and line a cake tin with parchment paper.
First of all, mix together the chia seeds and water to create a gel. Leave for around 10-15 minutes.
Pour the oil, maple syrup, chia seed mixture and almond milk into a food processor. Blend together and then add in the buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, apple cider vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, orange and lemon zest, orange and lemon juice and all the spices.
Blend together to create a smooth batter.
Now pour it into a large mixing bowl and fold in the carrots, chopped dates and chopped walnuts.
Then pour all this into a cake tin.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden and cracked.
The finale - A topping! I made my very own creamy "icing" for the cake and then covered it with pumpkin seeds, goji berries, honeyed carrots and orange and lemon zest. But cover it with whatever makes your heart happy - desiccated coconut, coconut yoghurt, chia seed jam or whatever else takes your fancy!
150g activated cashew nuts
2 tbsps almond milk
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
50ml date syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and voila - you have your icing.
Slice generously! It is best served warm, with a lovely cup of tea.
This will last for around a week in a tin... but I doubt you'll be able to resist it for that long!