Rich has just had another member of staff join him at the Gadgetplex, so to celebrate I thought that I would make the team a cake. I asked Rich for inspiration and he choose carrot cake – it was meant to be the team but I guess that he’s the boss!
It was then that I realised that I don’t think that I have ever made a carrot cake – I have eaten plenty but it does tend to be one of those cakes that you eat when you are trying to be good; carrots are a vegetable after all. I did a search online and found a lot of recipes that play around with the basics – marscapone instead of cream cheese, coconut, pineapple, the list goes on…The thing that I was looking for is that cinnamon infused, faintly bicarb tasting, moist cake with hidden surprises of raisins and walnuts topped with an incredibly rich icing – or should I say frosting?
I realise that this looks like a lot of ingredients – something of a running theme on in my recipes – but it’s actually really simple; mix the dry ingredient, mix the wet ones, add them together, cook it, mix the icing, waiting until everything is cool, put it together and eat.
Recipe: Carrot Cake
- 100g Raisins
- 50ml Sloe Gin
- 175g Plain Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Ground Cloves
- ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 200g Soft Brown Sugar
- 150ml Rapeseed Oil
- 2 Large Eggs
- 150-200g Grated Carrot – about 3 small ones
- 75g chopped Walnuts
- 1 tbsp Tahini
- 200g Cream Cheese
- 100g Butter Soften
- Zest of an Orange
- 1 tbsp Orange Juice
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 250g Icing Sugar
- Preheat your over to gas mark 4.
- Grease and line two 9 inch cake tins.
- In a pan, bring the gin and raisins to the boil; simmer for about 5 minutes and then leave the raisins to soak up the liquid. FYI you can easily use rum or tea but I often have sloe gin…
- Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb into a bowl and add the dried spice.
- In another large bowl, mix the sugar and oil.
- Add the eggs to the sugar mix, one by one, then add the carrot, walnuts, tahini and raisins.
- Gentle fold in the spiced flour and then split between the two cake tins. Put in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cakes are cooked.
- Whilst you are waiting for the cakes to cook get on with the icing.
- Beat the orange zest, cheese and butter until it’s smooth.
- Add the vanilla and orange juice to the cheese mix and then gradually beat in the icing sugar.
- Once all of the sugar is mixed in out the icing into the fridge for about 10 minutes to firm up slightly.
- When the cakes are cooked – they should spring up when you press them and be slightly coming away from the sides of their tin – place them onto a wire rack to cool.
- Ice the cakes generously in the centre and on the top, if necessary let the icing slip down the sides (make sure that the cake is on its serving dish if you do!). Decorate with walnuts and serve – as Rich would say “om nom nom nom…”
This recipe is based on Dan Lepard’s “How to Bake” Carrot Cake with a couple of tweeks
If you don’t like raisins leave them out, same goes with walnuts. I think that this is one of those recipes that’s pretty tolerant – next time I make it I’m going to try adding banana
Preparation time: 25 minute(s)
Cooking time: 25 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 8