Perfectly Mashed Potatoes

Thank you for stopping by to read this post and find out how to make Perfectly Mashed Potatoes. If you are curious as to why I should post such an easy recipe here’s my answer. Because everyone has to learn the basics. Including me. Since I wasn’t born with the knowledge of how to cook a roast, boil an egg or mash potatoes. I learnt, mostly, from watching my Grandma, whilst I was growing up.

FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
Perfectly Mashed Potatoes no fancy equipment needed!

Always an inquisitive child, I literally hung around her apron strings and learnt how to cook, bake, make preserves, prove bread and much more. My earliest memory is standing on a stall, shucking peas that my Grandad had freshly picked from the garden.

So a love of cooking, indeed, more being in the kitchen and making something, was present from a very early age. At home, I recall asking if I could peel some potatoes. I was given a bowl, full of cold water, to wash off the dirt, potatoes didn’t come pre-washed in the 1970’s and a small vegetable peeler. While a whole hour had passed and I still hadn’t finished! That didn’t matter, I was learning.

FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
Perfectly Mashed Potatoes creamy and delicious.

Especially in today’s world of convenience food and £1 packets of ready mashed potatoes available from the supermarket, learning how to cook basic recipes, isn’t always taught at home, in the way that I learned. So yes a recipe for Perfectly Mashed Potatoes, is here, because who doesn’t love mash???

Usually kitchens will have a potato masher utensil in them, if not they can be picked up, fairly cheaply, from any shop that sells kitchenware. I will not be using a potato ricer, hand whisk, kitchen stand mixer or any other contraption to make these Perfectly Mashed Potatoes, simply a potato masher. Because it is what most people have to hand and in my opinion, produces the best mashed potatoes!

So the only equipment you will need to make your mash is:

  • A sharp knife
  • Saucepan
  • Colinder
  • Potato Masher
  • Optional – vegetable peeler

Most kitchens will be equipped with this equipment, if not, each item can be bought inexpensively as mentioned above.

Recipe: Perfectly Mashed Potatoes serves 6-8 adults

2.5kg/5lbs Potatoes suitable for mashing – I used Albert Bartlett Elfe Potatoes – these have a particularly creamy texture and buttery taste, Rooster potatoes are also good for mashing. Any potato that is described as floury, suitable for mash can be used. However for the best mash I’ve tried I do recommend Elfe potatoes.

75g/3oz Butter

100mls/4fl ozs Whole Milk

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg – freshly grated is even better.

Method: Half fill a large saucepan with cold water

  • Using a vegetable peeler or small paring knife peel the potatoes.
  • Cut them into 5cm/2″ chunks as you go and immediately place in the pan of cold water.
  • NOTE: If peeled potatoes are left out of water they will start to turn brown.
  • Once all of the potatoes have been peeled and cut up, top up the pan with cold water, so that the potatoes are just covered.
FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
The potatoes are prepared and ready for cooking.
  • Turn the heat onto high on the hob and bring the potatoes up to a boil.
  • As soon as they are boiling turn the heat down and let the potatoes simmer for 15 minutes.
  • To test if the potatoes are cooked, insert a sharp knife into a couple of chunks, there shouldn’t be any resistance and the potato chunk may well break in half.
  • Once cooked drain the potatoes in a colinder and allow to steam dry for 5 minutes.
FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
Allowing the potatoes to steam dry makes better mash!
  • Empty any water from the saucepan the potatoes were cooked in.
  • Add the butter and milk to the pan and heat until the butter is melted.
  • I add 1/2tsp of sea salt, a good grinding of black pepper and the ground nutmeg to the milk/butter at this stage.
  • Take the pan off of the heat and add the cooked potatoes.
FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
Time to get mashing!
  • The next step is simply to plunge in with the potato masher and keep mashing until all the potatoes have broken down and you have smooth, creamy, Perfectly Mashed Potatoes.
  • I quite often get the children to mash our potatoes and yes, it does require a bit of elbow grease and effort (which with my back I’m not able to apply).
  • The potatoes are so beautifully soft and creamy, that they break down easily.
  • Serve the potatoes straight away onto dinner plates, or for special occasions, pile into a serving bowl, dot with a little extra butter and a light sprinkle of nutmeg.

Yes it really is that simple!

FF Perfectly Mashed Potatoes
Utterly delicious Perfectly Mashed Potatoes every single time.

Perfectly Mashed Potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to so many meals, made well they are delicious just on their own, perhaps with a little grated, sharp cheddar to top!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Perfectly Mashed Potatoes, here are some other potato recipes you also may like:

Leek Colcannon

FF Leek Colcannon
Sautéed leeks and savoy cabbage mixed with mashed potatoes.

Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges

FF Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges
Baked Garlic Herb Potato Wedges

Tangy Lemon Potato Salad

FF Tangy Lemon Potato Salad
Tangy Lemon Potato Salad

Were you taught to cook at home, or are you just learning?

Thank you for all of you lovely comments, I get such a thrill knowing you have baked and enjoyed one of my recipes, please keep them coming.

Also it is great seeing all the pictures of your makes and bakes on Twitter and Instagram. Please keep them coming, tag me in and I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout or retweet.

Are there any other basic recipes that you would like to see on Feasting is Fun? Let me know and if I can, I will post them for you.

I always try to remember that everyone has to start at the beginning. Most of all the fun is in the journey and we are all here to support each other as we learn.

Sammie xx

@sammiefeasting Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest

The Albert Bartlett Elfe potatoes were won in a competition. All opinions and views are my own, as is the content of this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy

 

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Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake

Hello lovelies, thank you so much for stopping by. I have a real treat for you today, in the form of my Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake.

FF Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake incredibly delicious.

There is a reason for this particular cake’s title. I was absolutely CRAZY for attempting to make this cake last Sunday.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may well have heard of @SBC Takeover. It stands for Sunday Bake Club Takeover. Anyway, I was joining in a Tweet chat with them a few weeks ago and they asked me to join. Me?!!!

Each week they have a different theme as to what you should bake. Last Sunday it was vegetables. Yay I thought. Carrot cake is my favourite cake in the entire Universe, easy peasy. You’d think?!!!

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake - crazy, good, cake! www.feastingisfun.com
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake – crazy, good, cake! www.feastingisfun.com

 

Since I figured, if I were going to take part, I was going to push myself. Yeah that always seems like a fun idea when you think about it – then you have to do it!!

I had a recipe-ish in mind for the cake I wanted to bake – but, it needed some adjustment. This time I was going to use a Bundt tin, because, erm, it seemed like a good idea at the time. So I fiddled with the recipe, hoping I’d got the right quantities to bake my Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake in my chosen Bundt tin.

As I was making the cake, carefully photographing each stage, just in case it did work and I could share it with you lovely people, I had a thought. Always, always a dangerous activity for me.

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake - pecan nuts within, for crunch and used as decoration - beautiful. www.feastingisfun.com
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake – pecan nuts within, for crunch and used as decoration – beautiful. www.feastingisfun.com

 

 

There are Pecan nuts in the cake and it occurred to me that they’d also look nice, if I used them to decorate the cake (assuming the cake turned out – literally, from its intricately designed Bundt tin). All good, but what was I going to ice/frost the cake with? I wasn’t feeling the cream cheese frosting that ALWAYS goes beautifully with carrot cake, I wanted Caramel.

Confession time. I. Don’t. Like. Caramel.

Really I don’t, so I would be CRAZY to put something I don’t like, on my favourite cake, of all time, ever.

Somehow, deep inside, I knew I could get it to work – for me. I know caramel and salted caramel have been done to death over the last few years, but I’d never jumped on that band wagon. Why would I? I don’t like caramel.

Or should I say I didn’t like caramel, until I’d made my own. I instinctively shy away from super sweet food, especially icings and frostings. My own, homemade caramel sauce, is a gazillion miles away from the tooth aching, molten sugar of my previous caramel tastings.

Drizzled over this beautiful Bundt and adorned with toasted Pecan nuts this Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake is the perfect twist on a classic.

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake - beautiful, delicious and easy to make. www.feastingisfun.com
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake – beautiful, delicious and easy to make. www.feastingisfun.com

 

Bundt pan dimensions are 23.5cm (9″) wide x 11cm (4.5″) deep. The pan holds 3 litres (5.3 UK pints). You could also use a 10″ greased and lined springform cake pan.

Recipe : Serves 10 Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake

For the Cake :

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter plus extra for greasing the tin.

260g/10oz Caster Sugar

3 Large Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

1/4tsp Salt

260g/10z Plain White Flour

2.5tsp Baking Powder

2.5tsp Cinnamon

300g/11oz Grated Carrot

50g/2oz Pecan Nuts

For the  Caramel Topping :

50g/2oz Butter

175g/6oz Light Brown Sugar

300ml/11fl oz Double Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract

50g/2oz Pecan Nuts

Method : Preheat the oven to 180C/165C fan.

Before starting on the cake batter, you need to toast the pecan nuts. This brings out their flavour and keeps them crisp and crunchy within the cake.

In a dry pan, heat the pecan nuts, gently tossing to ensure even toasting, for five minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a dry pan, heat the pecan nuts, gently tossing to ensure even toasting, for five minutes. Set aside to cool.

 

Melt approx 1tbsp of butter and using a pastry brush, ensure the inside of the Bundt tin is completely greased.
Melt approx 1tbsp of butter and using a pastry brush, ensure the inside of the Bundt tin is completely greased.

 

To make the cake, firstly cream the butter and sugar together, until pale and fluffy.

Sift in one third of the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract and one egg and mix gently.

Repeat this process twice more, adding the egg before the dry mix at the last stage.

Place 50g of cooled pecan nuts, onto a board and roughly chop.
Place 50g of cooled pecan nuts, onto a board and roughly chop.
Add the grated carrot and chopped pecans to the cake batter.
Add the grated carrot and chopped pecans to the cake batter.
Gently fold in the carrot and nuts until fully incorporated within the cake batter.
Gently fold in the carrot and nuts until fully incorporated within the cake batter.
Spoon the cake batter into the tin, gently pressing down to remove any air pockets.
Spoon the cake batter into the tin, gently pressing down to remove any air pockets.

 

Place the cake in the middle of the oven and bake for 1hour.

Whilst the cake is baking, make the Caramel Sauce.

Place the butter, sugar, cream and vanilla extract in a heavy based pan.
Place the butter, sugar, cream and vanilla extract in a heavy based pan.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake swirl the ingredients over a medium heat. When the sauce is bubbling and golden brown in colour it is done!
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake swirl the ingredients over a medium heat. When the sauce is bubbling and golden brown in colour it is done!

Remember the caramel is very hot, so no dipping your finger into the saucepan!!

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake- decant the sauce, equally, into 2 heat proof containers and set aside to cool.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake- decant the sauce, equally, into 2 heat proof containers and set aside to cool.

 

After 1 hour of baking insert a skewer into the deepest part of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is baked and can be removed from the oven. If not, return the cake to the oven and check at 5 minute intervals.

Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
Once cooled turn out your Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake into a cake stand.
Once cooled turn out your Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake onto a cake stand.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake drizzle over the cooled caramel sauce.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake drizzle over the cooled caramel sauce.

 

You will only need half of the caramel sauce. The other half can be frozen, for up to 3 months, or kept in the fridge for a week.

crazy Caramel Carrot Cake now to decorate with pecan halves.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake now to decorate with pecan halves.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake stunningly beautiful and tastes spectacular. www.feastingisfun.com
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake stunningly beautiful and tastes spectacular. www.feastingisfun.com

 

Your beautiful Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake is now ready to serve!

 

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake www.feastingisfun.com
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake www.feastingisfun.com

 

You will have to trust me (wink), this cake is not overly sweet. The cinnamon scented carrot cake, with hidden pecan crunch, is perfectly complimented by the delicious caramel sauce. Don’t believe me??? try this for yourself!!!

I cannot encourage you enough to make this delicious twist on a classic, Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake.

Also this cake is easily baked in an ordinary cake pan. however, if I can encourage you also to obtain a Bundt tin, your baking world will sooo benefit. All that beautiful detail and no extra effort required from the baker. That’s got to be incentive enough.

Have you ever disliked a food or flavour and then been persuaded to change your mind?

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake you may also like these:

Malted Marbled Chocolate Cake

FF Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake
Malted Marbled Chocolate Cake.

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

FF Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

Summer Mixed Berry Sponge Cake

FF Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake
Summer Mixed Berry Sponge Cake

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun.

Sammie x

 

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