The flavour of maple always takes me right back to Canada, where I was raised. It’s funny how a song or a smell transports you right back to a moment in time and the smell of maple reminds me of breakfasts around the table with my family when I was young. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12, but I remember my sisters pouring maple syrup on their sausages!
A hint of nostalgic maple now and again harks me back, and what better vegetable dessert recipe to put it in than carrot cake. The maple flavour is very subtle in the cake, so I’ve enhanced it with a maple whipped cream topping, or you could add maple to a standard cream cheese icing.
We all know that carrot cake is a bit ‘sin with a halo’, so I’ve lightened the usual oil-heavy recipe with yogurt. The maple adds sweetness, but some extra nutrients that sugar doesn’t have as well as that lovely taste.
- 300g carrots (approx 2)
- 75g raisins
- 200g self-raising wholemeal flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 100g light brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 100ml vegetable oil
- 120g Greek yogurt
- 250ml whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or to taste)
- Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 9” cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Peel and grate the carrots into a large bowl. Add the raisins. Sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder, cinnamon and salt over them (adding any sieved out bran back into the bowl). Stir to coat the carrots and raisins.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, maple syrup, oil and Greek yogurt together with an electric mixer.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry gently.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin and then remove and ice as desired.
- Whip the cream and maple syrup together with an electric mixer until it starts to stiffen. Refrigerate until ready to use. Add more maple syrup if desired.