Speculaas Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Cake

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Carrot cake is always a huge favourite in my household and, after being send a sample of vandotsch Speculaas Spice Mix to try, I thought I’d treat my husband today and make him his favourite cake but with this added flavour twist.

For those that don’t know what speculaas spice is; it’s a blend of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and other spices originally from Dutch bakers that are traditionally used to flavour biscuits. Based on his Dutch grandmothers’ sweet tasting spice mix the founder of The Speculaas Spice Company has now developed his own unique blend in a powdered form which you can add to a variety of ingredients and drinks, which you can buy from their website.

I baked my cake in a Nordicware rose shaped bundt tin today.

For my speculaas spiced sweet potato and carrot cake, you’ll need:

200ml Farringtons cold pressed rapeseed oil

250g Soft brown sugar

3 Eggs, separated

100g Sweet potato, grated

50g Carrot, grated

10ml Lime juice

250g Self raising flour

2.5ml Bi-carbonate of soda

5ml Baking powder

10ml Vandotsch speculaas spice mix

For the frosting:

175g Mascarpone cheese

150g Philadelphia cheese

100g Icing sugar

10ml Vandotsch speculaas spice mix.

2 crushed biscuits, crushed, to decorate

 

1. Heat your oven to 180℃/160℃ fan.

2. Grease the inside of you bundt tin (I use my Homemade Cake Release recipe to grease mine, then lightly flour the tin, tapping out any excess.

3. In a large bowl, place your oil, sugar and the egg yolks and beat until well mixed.

4. Add the grated sweet potato and carrot along with the lime juice and mix thoroughly.

5. Sift in the flour, bi-carbonate of soda, baking powder and Vandotsch speculaas spice mix and stir to combine.

6. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

7. Fold the egg whites through the cake mix gently until no white areas remain.

8. Tip the cake mix into your prepared bundt tin, making sure you fill all the detail with cake mixture.

9. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when tested in the deepest part of the cake.

10. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes to cool a little.

11. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and leave until cold.

12. For the frosting, beat together the mascarpone and Philadelphia cream cheeses with the icing sugar and Vandotsch speculaas spice mix.

13. Spread the frosting over the cake.

14. Sprinkle with crushed biscuits and serve.

As this cake has a frosting made from mascarpone and cream cheese, the cake must be stored in the fridge to keep it fresh.  Remember to remove the cake from the fridge about 10 minutes before serving to allow it to come back to room temperature.

The 25g refill of Vandotsch speculaas spice mix was sent to me free of charge.  I was under no obligation to produce or share a recipe using this product. No other payment has been received in respect of this recipe.

 

 

 

Slow Cooked Shin of Beef

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I’d originally wanted to cook Ox cheek, however neither of my two local butchers had any, and only one had some British shin of beef as an alternative, so that’s what I’ve used for today’s dinner.  I’ve cooked this in 2/3 bottle of Aldi UK Fleurie red wine, from the Beaujolais region of France, but you could use an ale if you prefer.

30ml Rapeseed oil

2 medium onions, chopped

3 medium carrots, chopped

3 sticks of celery, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, bruised

2tbs Plain flour

Salt & pepper

2kg Shin of beef, diced

500ml red wine (or ale)

300ml beef stock

Handful of thyme, roughly chopped

2 Bay leaves

Stick of cinnamon

 

1. Preheat your oven to 180℃ (160℃ fan).

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

2. In a large casserole dish, heat 15ml of oil.

3. Fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic until transparent, but not coloured.

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

4. Remove the vegetables to a bowl whilst you prepare the beef.

5. In a plastic bag, put the flour and season with salt and pepper.

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

6. Place the beef into the bag and toss to coat evenly. Shake off the excess.

7. Heat 15ml of oil in the casserole dish and fry the beef in batches until brown on all sides.

8. Remove the beef with the vegetables.

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

9. Add 100ml of the wine to the casserole dish and scrape the bottom of the dish to release all the flavours.

10. Add the rest of the wine, the beef stock, thyme, bay leaves and cinnamon stick, along with the browned beef and vegetables.

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine

11. Give it a good stir to mix, put the lid on and put the casserole dish into the oven to cook.

12. Cook for 3-4 hours until the beef is tender and falls apart.

13. Remove the bay leaves, cinnamon stick and the garlic cloves.

14. Serve on a bed of chive mashed potatoes with some steamed savoy cabbage.

Slow cooked beef shin in Aldi Fleurie red wine