Sunday, 23 February 2014

Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramelised Walnuts

Until this week, I had never made a carrot cake before. I had never even tasted a carrot cake before! I don't know why, but the idea of vegetables in a cake just seemed completely wrong to me. I'm off work this week, so was in a mood to do something different, something I'd never tried before. I was going to visit my friend in her new house and, for some reason, carrot cake just seemed like the 'homely' cake to make.

I searched through my baking books and found a few different options, but in the end I went with a recipe from Donal Skehan's Kitchen Hero: Great Food for Less. I'm a huge fan of Donal's, both of his books and his tv shows, and have made both sweet (check out his 'Ultimate' cake) and savoury recipes of his to great success, so knew that I wouldn't go too wrong with this one!

 I was pleasantly surprised with the end results, although I had to rely solely on my friends to let me know if it actually tasted like carrot cake should. They said it did, so guess I'll just have to trust them!!

(adapted from Donal Skehan)
275g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
275g caster sugar
4 large eggs
250ml rapeseed oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
400g carrots, peeled and grated

Preheat your oven to 180ºC and grease and line two cake tins. In a large bowl, sift in the flour, bicarb and cinnamon (or just give it a good whisk). In another bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar, until light and fluffy. Slowly pour in the oil, until completely incorporated and then add in the vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients, until just mixed through. Finally, fold through the grated carrots. Divide the batter between your two lined tins and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove cakes from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove the cakes from the tins and leave to cool completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted from Donal Skehan)
200g cream cheese, softened
50g unsalted butter, softened
450g icing sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Beat together the cream cheese and butter, until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the icing sugar and cinnamon until well combined.

Caramelised Walnuts
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup light brown sugar

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Add the nuts and sugar to a non-stick pan and stir constantly until all the sugar has melted and the walnuts are covered in a golden caramel. Pour the nuts onto the baking tray and leave to cool. 

Assemble the cakes by spreading half of the cream cheese frosting onto one of the cakes with a large palette knife. Gently place the second cake on top and cover with the remaining frosting. Top with the caramelised walnuts.

No comments:

Post a Comment