Hi! Welcome to my blog. I am a major foodie, with a haphazard cooking philosophy, currently making that transition from cooking and baking for friends and family to 'wonder if I could make this my career'. Follow me for recipes, the outcomes of a few experiments, and general lovely foodiness. Opinions, reviews and recommendations are all my own.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Autumnal Inspired Carrot Cake

Since starting a cake decorating and sugar-craft course last week I have been itching to put my new skills to the test, and have been mentally designing cakes in my mind during the long commute to work and back each day. Today, I found my inspiration in the cool crispness of autumn, as I drove through the Derbyshire countryside on my way from Swadlincote to Belper. A watery sun shone on bare hay fields, and the wind whipped up piles of leaves in the hedgerows. 

With a design idea in mind, I needed a cake that matched the seasonal inspiration, and I settled on a wonderfully moist spiced carrot cake, with a luscious cream cheese frosting. In my early baking days, carrot cake was always a trial and error cake for me, usually resulting in a rather dry texture, and a slightly bland flavour. Since then I have found the following recipe, and have used it ever since. The aroma is rich, the cake spongy and moist, and the taste fruity with a warming hint of nutmeg and cinnamon. Stick to this easy recipe, and you will make the perfect carrot cake every time...

  • 175g dark muscavado sugar
  • 175ml sunflower or vegetable oil (I have also successfully used olive oil before)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150g carrots, weighed and then grated finely
  • 100g raisins
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp mixed spice
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, and line a 9 inch round, or 8 inch square cake tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Combine the sugar, eggs and oil together in a large bowl.
3. Add the carrots, raisins and orange zest to the mixture, and mix well.
4. Sift the flour, combine with the bicarbonate of soda and the spices, and fold into the mixture.
5. Transfer the cake mix to the tin, and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until firm and spongy to the touch.
6. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Because of the moist nature of the mixture, this carrot cake is absolutely perfect accompanied with nothing more than a hot cup of tea. If however you want to make it a little more special, finish with a cream cheese frosting. Beat 300g cream cheese, 90g butter, and 250g icing sugar together until smooth and creamy, and spread all over the cake. 

And the autumnal inspired design tonight...

Happy baking! V x

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