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Hugh's Carrot Cake

This lovely cake, trickled with a little honey rather than richly iced, is a huge treat, but also sneaks in a decent portion of veg! You can certainly use parsnips, beetroot or squash instead of the carrot. I like adding some dried fruit, particularly chopped dried apricots, but it’s certainly not essential. In the version photographed here, I used ground pumpkin seeds (instead of ground almonds) which also worked really well.

Method

• Grease a 23cm or 25cm springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

• Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat together with a hand-held electric beater, or using a freestanding mixer, for about 10 minutes, until pale, foamy and slightly thickened.

• Add the oil and beat for another minute or two.

• Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together into the mixture.

• Tip in any bran left in the sieve, too. Fold in gently.

• Finally, fold in the grated carrot and ground nuts/seeds and dried fruit (if using).

• Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 50–60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

• Remove from the oven and stand the tin on a wire rack.

• Put the honey into a small saucepan over a low heat and heat gently until it is liquid.

• Slowly pour on the hot honey so it soaks into the top of the cake (you can prick the surface with a skewer or tip of a knife if you like)

• Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a large plate or board.

• Serve warm or cold. Delicious with a spoonful of crème fraiche or yoghurt.

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Ingredients

4 medium eggs

125g caster sugar

250ml rapeseed oil or sunflower oil (or half and half)

225g wholemeal self-raising flour

100g ground almonds (or ground hazelnuts, cashews or pumpkin seeds)

100g dried apricots, roughly chopped, or raisins, chopped prunes etc..

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

c3–4 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated (350g in total)

2 tablespoons (about 75g) honey