Many moons ago, circa 1974/5, our mother took us to visit a "hippy commune" near to where we lived. She was never at all hippy-like in thought or deed, so I think she was just curious and looking for somewhere for a trip out not too distant, and off we tootled along to their Open Day in our Mini Traveller! The commune (now would be called an intentional community) wasn't far from us, and was Laurieston Hall; one of the most successful and long-lived of the rash of hippy living experiments around those times.
Here it is :
I loved it there; lots of vibrant colour, craft work, gardens, interesting and colourful, vibrant people, lots going on. I think my mother was a bit more :0, but I enjoyed it. Teas were served in the communal kitchen, on big tables with seats all around, rather than individual tables. We had tea in hand ghrown mugs, and *carrot cake*...........a first for all of us! A cake made from carrots? How could this be? LOL I don't remember much about the actual taste, to be honest, but the concept of a cake made from vegetables stayed with me, although I don;t remember being allowed to try making one at home at all. When I got my first house, I bought a copy of the Cranks Recipe Book - and, tada, therein the best carrot cake recipe in the world.......... and up above is a picture of it! I've made it countless times now, and am on my second cranks Recipe book, the first one falling to bits through use, but both bought secondhand. Here's the recipe, and I can assure you you won't find a better one.
Cranks Carrot Cake
6 oz carrots
3 fl oz vegetable oil
4 oz flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teasp ground nutmeg
2 oz desiccated coconut
Grease and line a loaf tin. Grate carrots finely. Whisk eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy, then gradually add the oil, still whisking. Then add remaining ingredients, mix throughly and pour into prepared tin. Bake in a hit oven for 30 - 35 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Ice with orange icing if you like.
The original recipe in the book usues raw brown sugar and wholemeal flour, but I use what I have on the cupboard.