I really wanted to show a couple of pictures of my favourite cake ever that I made for my birthday (I only make it about once a year as I love it so much I would just sit and keep eating it….my capacity for eating this cake knows no bounds) however, I obviously wasn’t channelling my inner David Bailey because when I looked at the pictures they were all fuzzy and just terrible. Over the weekend we needed to pop to the shops and because it is nearly Halloween they had these fantastic orange coloured French Fancies which are one of my “one weaknesses”…… I’m ashamed to say I ate, cough cough, 6 of them yesterday…and yes, I then complained I had a bit of a tummy ache. I much prefer a home-made cake to shop bought but I really can’t help myself with these little poppets.
Anyway, this is my favourite recipe for carrot cake, I really do not like it when it seems to contain half the ingredients of a store cupboard (sultanas, walnuts, orange juice etc) I just like it with carrots and a mere hint of spices. It goes without saying I managed to eat a bit too much of the cake mix in the business of cleaning the bowl (it wasn’t a pretty sight as got covered in sticky cake mixture) and then my constant tastings of the icing meant the cake wore only the briefest negligee of icing.
Obviously using the best carrots makes a big difference to how the cake tastes, we are so lucky to have a brilliant Organic stall on our local Market (Folland’s Organics) and Rob (the lovely smiley owner) gets in a lot of vegetables that are local. In previous years I have made this with yellow carrots and it looked so beautiful. I have yet to try it with blue ones, maybe I need a second birthday to warrant baking another cake.
Crikey that’s nice Carrot Cake
Ingredients for the cake
2 x 23 cm wide cake tins that are at least 5 cm tall
335ml sunflower oil
450 caster sugar
4 medium sized eggs
140 g grated carrots
2 tablespoons of freshly boiled water
300 g of self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
a generous grating of nutmeg
pinch of salt
Ingredients for the icing
130g of very very soft unsalted butter (try to use the very best quality you can)
300 g of soft full fat soft cheese (if you use low fat the icing will not set properly)
160g sifted icing sugar
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Lightly grease the baking tins, put baking parchment on the bottom and then lightly flour the sides.
Beat the sunflower oil and the sugar together. Separate two of the eggs. Add the two whole eggs to the mixture, and then the yolks followed by the grated carrots.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of powder, salt and spices. Carefully fold this into the cake mixture and then gently stir in the two tablespoons of boiled water.
In a clean bowl, whisk the two egg whites until they form soft peaks. gently fold these into the cake mixture.
Split the cake mixture into the two cake tins and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
When the cakes are baked, leave them in their tins for about 10 minutes to cool before turning out and putting them on a cooling rack.
For the icing, mix all the ingredients together so they form a thick cream. Using a palette knife, spread a layer of icing on the top of one cake, put the the other cake on top and cover that and the sides with the icing. Put the iced cake into the fridge for at least 2 hours before eating.
You’ll need to keep the cake in the fridge so that the icing doesn’t melt.