Why is a walnut like a welshman?

They both get more bitter with age. (That is clearly a JOKE, and not a true reflection of my feelings for the Welsh nation) Perhaps you can supply a better punchline? But seriously, the link is linguistic. The wal- in walnut has nothing to do with walls, but comes from the old Dutch and means foreign, or “strange and exotick” as walnuts are not native to England. From the same root, we get Welsh – foreigners. I have often thought the Welsh are a strange and exotick nation, and it turns out I was right.

Anyway, walnuts feature in this non-Lorraine recipe. It’s a carrot and walnut cake, which I’ve taken to cooking because it’s dairy-free (carrot cake is made with oil). This is a great recipe, if you adapt it for whatever tin you’re using, but I adapted the icing to make a dairy-free butter icing.

I did most of it in the food processor – grating the carrots, chopping the walnuts and whisking the eggs.

It turns out I can break eggs into the bowl one handed – the things you learn to do because you’re holding a baby! After that, baby cookingfanatic amused himself with a patriotic tea cosy so I could get on with it a bit better.

I used a 20cm, deep, loose-bottomed cake tin.

While I was waiting for it to cook, I discovered the use of one of my pieces of Essential Kit.

Yes that’s right: you screw it into a carrot and it produces a carrot slinky. Obviously, these are ideal for … um …

I want to share with you Delia’s way of de-caking a loose-bottomed tin (or de-loosed-bottomed-tinning a cake, depending on your perspective). The traditional method leaves you with a (sometimes hot) tin around your wrist.

But following Delia’s method, place the tin on a can of apricots (or in fact any non-perishable goods)

and push the tin downwards, freeing the cake.

I made butter icing using this Jane Asher recipe:

Put 100g softened butter (or dairy-free butter) in a bowl with 1/2 tbsp hot water and mix together well. Beat in 150g icing sugar a little at a time until light and creamy. I also added some orange zest and sprinkled with cinnamon. I made it a bit too runny, but it went solid again as the butter cooled.

This is the best carrot cake recipe I’ve come across!

4 Replies to “Why is a walnut like a welshman?”

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