As I’m sure most of you are aware by now, I am a huge fan of Guardian food writer extraordinaire Felicity Cloake. She transformed my roast chicken with her fairly healthy but utterly delicious version (poach breast side down for 10 mins before roasting in super hot oven), and confirmed what I had already discovered about baking irresistible chocolate brownies (use dark brown sugar and beat with eggs until mixture is a light mousse doubled in size – makes all the difference). Therefore when in search of a truly fantastic Carrot Cake recipe (and I’ve been on the hunt for sometime now), I thought it was time to turn to Felicity for her absolute wisdom and tried and tested recipe, in the hope this would be as flawless as her others have been.
This occasion is for the birthday of my previous boss Stuart, and I hear-tell his favourite is carrot cake.. so here we go:
For the cake:
150g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
150g soft light brown sugar
3 free-range eggs
200g self-raising wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
Zest of 1 orange
100g sultanas or raisins
200g carrots, peeled and grated
100g pecans, toasted and roughly chopped, plus extra to decorate
For the Icing:
150g Reduced fat cream cheese
50g Light brown soft sugar
Zest of ½ lemon and a squeeze of juice
1) Preheat the oven to 180C convention / 160C fan assisted and grease and line the bases of 2 x 18cm sandwich tins.
2) Put the melted butter, sugar and eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk well until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the mixture has almost doubled in volume.
3) Sift together the flour, bicarb, salt and spices and then fold very gently into the liquid mixture, being careful to knock as little air out as possible.
4) Fold in the remaining ingredients and divide between the tins. Bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tins.
For the Icing:
1) Beat together the icing ingredients and refrigerate.
2) When the cakes are cool enough to ice, remove from the tins, top one with half the icing, and then the other cake. Ice the top, and decorate with the remaining pecans.
The verdict is good; looks good, tastes good, moist and delicious! My favourite carrot cake so far! Mmmm