27 Jan 2013

Carrot cake


I felt so uninspired this weekend. I just didn't know what to bake. I had baker's block.

My friend recommended this really cool cake I'd previously never heard of with Baileys, Guinness and something else in. But I just didn't have the 'oomph' to go to the shops and buy the fancy ingredients.

So I just settled with what my fridge could provide. And with the abundance of carrots sitting within it, my fridge told me to make Carrot cake. Seriously, it did. I opened its door, and it said "make–Car-rot–Ca-ake" like a dalek. So, I did. You know, I wouldn't want to mess with a fridge, now!


Anyway, it was good advice as I received rave reviews from everyone who tried it and it was pretty simple to throw together. That is, once you get over the task of grating one-million-and-two carrots. Okay, I lie. It was probably only six. If you're smart, you'll buy carrots already grated. Or you'll have one of those little elves that appear from the bottom drawer to do it for you. Or children with the ability not to grate their own fingers.

I digress. It produced a fluffy and moist cake with delicious sweet frosting and hints of orange zest. (Texture: think Marks & Spencer/ Pret-A-Manger). Except, without the walnuts. I swapped the walnuts in favour of cashew nuts! So much better don't you agree?

And be sure to use Philadelphia soft cheese for the frosting (I'm not advertising for them, I just feel its consistency holds better for the frosting).

Done. Now, I just have to think what to bake for next week?
Carrot cake
175 ml/6 fl oz Vegetable oil
175 g/6 oz dark Muscovado sugar
3 eggs, beaten
175 g/6 oz grated carrot
55 g/2 oz Cashew nut pieces
grated rind of 1 orange
175 g/6 oz self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
orange zest to decorate

200 g/7 oz Philadelphia soft cheese
100g/3 ½ oz icing sugar
1 tsp orange juice

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºf. Grease and line a 23-cm/9-inch square cake tin with grease-proof paper. (Use a little bit of oil on the backs of the paper to affix to tin)

In a large bowl, beat together the oil, sugar and eggs. Stir in the grated carrots, cashew nut pieces and orange rind.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg together into the bowl, then mix evenly into the carrot mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until well-risen and firm to touch.

Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, combine the Philadelphia, icing sugar and orange juice in a bowl and beat until smooth. Spread over the top of the cake with a palette knife.

Decorate with strips of orange zest and serve cut into squares; like I did  :-)

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