Malt extract is a terrific store-cupboard ingredient, especially for vegan cooking that has to work hard to find its dark, rich flavours. An unrefined syrup made from sprouted barley, it is dark brown, thick and sticky, with a distinctive, sweet malty taste.

Malt extract is about half as sweet as refined white sugar and can be used in many recipes that call for honey. Buy a jar from the supermarket or health food shop; it has a good shelf life and is very versatile. Cooked here with the malt extract, the carrots turn sticky and fudgy with a mellow malted flavour to flatter the sweetness of the carrots and the nuttiness of sunflower seeds.


  • 2 Carrots, small to medium sized, peeled, cut in half lengthways if on the large side
  • 2tbsp Vegetable oil or sunflower oil
  • 2tbsp Malt extract
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 50g Sunflower seeds


  • STEP 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C.

  • STEP 2

    Arrange the carrots in a single layer in a roasting tin and drizzle them with the oil and malt extract. Season with salt and pepper and cover the tin with some foil.

  • STEP 3

    Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, remove the foil and add the sunflower seeds and continue to roast, uncovered, for a further 20–30 minutes until the carrots are completely cooked and sticky, almost wizened and golden brown in places.

  • STEP 4

    Pile the carrots onto a warmed serving dish, scraping the sticky residue and sunflower seeds from the roasting tin.