Lawrence Murphy maintains that a sprinkle of dinkel was ideal for centurions

Spelt Carrot Cake.
Spelt Carrot Cake.
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Spelt grain and flour have become very popular in recent times because they contain complex carbohydrates, sugar, fibre and a host of other healthy properties.

Spelt is also known as dinkel wheat and is believed to be an important staple from the Bronze Age to medieval times.

The Romans were so impressed by its qualities they fed it to their army before going into battle and called it the marching grain.

Spelt is highly water-soluble which means all the nutrients are easily absorbed into the body. It also has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. The slow release carbohydrates are useful for endurance sports giving a long supply of energy. So it’s one of those superfoods we hear about and it also tastes fantastic. I have been using spelt grain in the same way you cook risotto and it absorbs the flavour of a good stock and herbs. I’ve used it in our sourdough bread mix with great results but this recipe for carrot cake has become one of our favourites. The slightly sweet and nutty flavour help to enhance the overall finish to this cake and I have added an orange zest topping with a few roasted walnuts to bring it all together.

Spelt carrot cake

Ingredients

250ml pomace olive oil

225g brown sugar

3 eggs

225g spelt flour

Teaspoon baking powder

250g grated carrots

100g icing sugar

Zest and juice of half an orange

Handful roasted walnuts

Method

1. Heat the oven to 160c/gas 3.5 and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper

2. Whisk the oil and sugar together

3. Whisk in the eggs one at a time

4. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder

5. Add the carrots and put into the tin

6. Bake for one hour until golden brown and a metal skewer inserted to the centre comes out clean. If it does not come out clean, cook for longer.

7. Cool for 15 minutes and turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool.

8. Mix the icing sugar, zest and juice together and pour over the cake.

9. Sprinkle with the walnuts.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives at Emsworth fatolives.co.uk. Call 01243 377914.