Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot cake muffin with cream cheese icing

Carrot cake is one of my favourite cakes, but it must be good carrot cake. Stodgy, dry or with no visible carrot just doesn’t cut it.

Since this recipe calls for 3 cups of carrots, you might imagine that eating the cake is like chewing a carrot. In fact, the carrots soften and almost “dissolve” into the cake, while still definitely being there. I know, it’s weird. Trust me though, you’ll probably like it.

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Lemon Tart

Lemon tart

This tart was a bit experimental but everyone loved it, including me – which doesn’t always happen by the way. Sometimes others like the food I make (or they say they do anyway) but I’m just not that impressed. This really blew me away though, and I’m already considering how I could make it into a gluten-free cake. For now, let’s stick to the basic tart.

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Date, Fig and Nut Bites

Date, fig and nut bites

These bites are both delicious and good for you – always a winning combo!

Although I’ve seen many variations of this recipe, after much playing with different combinations and quantities of the ingredients, this one is my favourite. Feel free to change up whatever you like though to suit your own tastes.

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Lemon, Almond and Ricotta Tartlets

Lemon, almond and ricotta tartlets

I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for a long time, after first tasting an Italian Ricotta cake made by Hmmm a few years ago. I found a few recipes which helped, especially this one by Cakelets and Doilies, which it seems she adapted from a Donna Hay recipe.

So basically this concept has been around the block a few times, and when you taste it, you’ll know why it’s so popular. It’s light and almondy, moist and crumbly, with a lemon flavour that can be subtle or quite strong, depending on how you like it. As a bonus, it’s gluten-free and if you wanted to make it sugar-free/paleo too, I imagine it would work very well if you used honey or something like xylitol instead.

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Shortbread Biscuits

Wrapped biscuits

I must admit that I’m not always a fan of shop-bought shortbread, or even some home-made versions, as I often find them too dry. This recipe, the original version of which I seem to remember my Mom cut out of a magazine or newspaper about 30 years ago, is a nice compromise between shortbread and a ‘traditional’ biscuit, being ‘short’ but not dry (unless you bake them too long, of course).

Other virtues of this recipe are that the dough itself isn’t too sweet and you can add just about any flavouring you like to it. My personal favourites are flaked/nibbed almonds and brandy, which are totally delicious together, or lavender, which is what I’m using here. (N.B. You need to chop the lavender flowers and leaves very finely!) Chocolate chips or any kind of dried fruit also work well, although obviously make it a bit sweeter.

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