Friday, February 19, 2021

Ginger Carrot Tea Cake with Orange Glaze

I miss traveling. Since the Covid pandemic started last year, I've daydreamed about all the places I will visit once things get better. Top on my list is a return to the United Kingdom. My last trip there was in 1992. 

Mom and I have spent the past year streaming a variety of British television programs like Great British Baking Show, Land Girls, Midsomer Murders, Shakespeare and Hathaway, Call the Midwife, Inspector Lewis, Death in Paradise, and Father Brown. (We're also fans of Australian shows My Life if Murder, 800 Words, and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.) Add to that numerous PBS Masterpiece shows, such as the current All Creatures Great and Small and Miss Scarlett and the Duke, and it’s easy to understand how we’ve become proper anglophiles in this house.

I find myself drinking a lot more tea. Maybe because anytime a crisis happens in these programs, someone always says, “I’ll put the kettle on.” A pandemic is a crisis, right? 

I’ve always enjoyed the occasional cuppa, but now it’s an almost daily ritual. However, my tea time is a cup in the evening after dinner, with just a random cup in the late afternoon. 

Tea cuisine is also a favorite of mine. I love scones loaded with strawberry jam and clotted cream, buttery shortbread cookies, and crisp cucumber or watercress sandwiches. 

However, tea cakes are my number one selection. Also known as loaf cakes, these sweet treats are just the right size for my small household, and they aren’t loaded with frosting. In the past, I’ve posted recipes for Walnut Apricot Tea Bread, Honey Spice Loaf, and Orange Marmalade Teacake. 

This recipe for Ginger Carrot Tea Cake is now my favorite. Moist and flavorful, with a hint of ginger and the brightness of orange—perfect!  You’ll notice I’ve listed the measurements for the ingredients by weight first, then volume. Paul Hollywood and Mary Barry have made me a food scale convert. Trust me, using a scale is soooo easy, more accurate, and with less clean-up! 

I’ve also posted in the past instructions on how to make a proper pot of tea. You’ll find them here.

Are you a tea fan? What kind do you like most? And are you streaming shows from across the pond? I’d love to hear about your favorites so I can get some new ideas for my next binge-watching venture.


Yield: 1 9 x 5-inch loaf
Author: Linda Ditch
Ginger Carrot Tea Cake with Orange Glaze

Ginger Carrot Tea Cake with Orange Glaze

A flavorful tea cake, with just a hint of warm ginger and a bright orange glaze.


  • For the cake:
  • 225 grams (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 225 grams (1 cup packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 medium carrots, grated (165 grams/1 1/2 cups packed)
  • For the glaze:
  • Zest and juice from 1 medium orange
  • 100 grams (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs by hand for two minutes until light an and silky. Add the oil, cinnamon, ginger and salt, and whisk until smooth and combined. Add the dry ingredients and combine together with a rubber spatula until smooth. Fold in the grated carrots.
  4. Pour the now thick batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top. Bang the pan on the countertop a couple of times to allow any air bubbles to rise to the surface. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cake is golden and a tester comes out clean.
  5. Remove the loaf pan from the oven and set it on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan onto the rack and allow it to cool completely.
  6. To make the glaze, place the confectioners’ sugar and orange zest into a small bowl. Wisk in the orange juice a bit at a time until the glaze ins pourable but still thick. Place the cooling rack on top of a piece of waxed paper or foil. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing it to ooze down the sides. All the glaze to set for a few minutes before slicing the cake.
  7. Store cake wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Cheesy Broccoli Corn Potato Chowder with Ham

What do you do when cravings collide? 

Recently, I was enamored by a social media post for ham and potato corn chowder, but I also was longing for a cheddar broccoli soup. Plus, I had some fresh broccoli that wasn’t going to stay that way for much longer.

So, I combined two soups into one. Boy, was it good—even though the name is a little long!

Full of healthy veggies and sharp cheddar, with just enough ham to give it a smoky taste. 

Best of all, this recipe is perfect for the slow cooker. Put in the bulk of the ingredients at the start of the day and by dinnertime, all you have to do is blend the mixture to your desired chunkiness (I used a stick blender), and stir in the cheese, cream (if using), and ham. 

Dinner is ready! 

Yield: 6 to 8
Author: Linda Ditch
Cheesy Broccoli Corn Potato Chowder with Ham

Cheesy Broccoli Corn Potato Chowder with Ham

What happens when broccoli-cheddar soup combines with a corn chowder? Add some ham, and this soup is the result.


  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen corn
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 32-ounce carton low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces Velveeta, diced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces ham, diced


  1. In a large slow cooker, add all of the ingredients except for the cheeses, cream, and ham. (Add more water if necessary.) Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Using an immersion (stick) blender, whizz up the soup in the slow cooker until it reaches your desired consistency. (If you don’t have a hand-held stick blender, ladle 2 to 3 cups of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Then pour the blended mixture back into the slow cooker.)
  3. Add the ham to the soup, and then the cheeses, a handful at a time, stirring until melted and blended into the soup. Then stir in the cream. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
  4. Serve and enjoy. (FYI: Like most soups, this one tastes even better the next day!)