Friday, 24 February 2012

Carrot Cake

There's nothing more homely, tasty and comforting than a good Carrot Cake, and this one by Paul Hollywood is a real corker, being moist, subtly sweet, and just the right amount of nutty. Like any cake using cream cheese icing, I'd advise you to keep it in the fridge, but if your family is anything like mine then it won't last long in there!

Barely adapted from the recipe by Paul Hollywood in the March issue of Delicious Magazine. Available in newsagents now. see more recipes at Delicious Magazine online here.

Serves 8

for the cake bases:
125ml sunflower oil
230g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
230g light muscovado sugar
1 and a half teaspoons cinnamon
half a teaspoon ginger
half a teaspoon mixed spice
100g walnut halves
260g carrots, grated
grated zest of half a large orange
3 large eggs

1. Turn oven to 180C (160C fan ovens). Grease and line two 18cm round cake tins.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, ginger and mixed spice into a large bowl.

3. Add the sugar, walnuts, grated carrot and grated orange zest and stir to combine.

4. In a smaller bowl, whisk the 3 eggs until light and frothy, then add them to the cake batter.

5. Next add the sunflower oil, and mix until well combined.

6. Pour the batter equally into the prepared baking tins, and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes. You'll know it's done when the top bounces back under your finger, and a skewer comes out clean.

7. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, before carefully turning the bases out onto a wire rack or plates to cool further.

for the icing:
50g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g icing sugar
200g cream cheese
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice

8. To make the icing, beat the butter in a large bowl, then mix in the cream cheese, beating well.

9. Sift the icing sugar into the mixture, along with the orange juice. Don't do what I did and idly misread the recipe, adding tablespoons instead of teaspoons (to recover the consistency I had to add more icing sugar). Continue to beat until the icing coheres smoothly. Place the bowl in the fridge, covered with a plate, until you're ready to use it.

10. When the cake bases have cooled completely, spread the top of the first of the bases with a third of the icing, and place the other base ontop. Cover the top and the sides of the second cake with the rest of the icing, decorating it with more walnuts, or a wafer rose and cream cheese leaf as I did.

This cake was idly baked while listening to Ella Fitzgerald's album Music & Moonlight

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