Sunday, 10 May 2015

Carrot Walnut Cake

I remember when I first heard of carrot cake, I must admit I wasn't too thrilled to try it out. A vegetable in my cake? Err ... no, thanks, I think.

And then one day, at work, a colleague from another department invited us to help ourselves to some leftover morning tea treats from their monthly department meeting (which was something I always looked forward to!).  Eyeing the selections of teacakes and pastries, my attention fell upon some carrot cake slices and suddenly I thought, why not? There's certainly no harm giving it a go. 

And the verdict? ...... It certainly was not love at first sight but it sure was love at first bite! It was unlike any cake I've tasted before. It was moist and I just love the rich crumbly mix of walnuts and raisins in it. It also has a light cinnamony taste of spices which gives it such a unique flavour. All in all, it was a good first experience for me. Thumbs up!

2 years ago, I baked a carrot cake  for my mom's birthday and to my delight, she loved it too! So today, for Mother's Day, I decided to bake her this special cake packed with the goodness of grated carrots, walnuts, sultanas and orange juice. 

Happy Mother's Day!




Happy Mother's Day!




Carrot Walnut Cake

Ingredients
85g sultanas
juice of 1 orange
85g wholemeal flour
85g self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
145g soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
125ml sunflower oil
170g carrots, peeled and grated
55g walnuts, chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting
120g cream cheese
45g butter, softened
180g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Decoration (optional)
fondant icing
orange and green food colouring
finely chopped pistachios or walnuts

Method

1) Place the sultanas and orange juice in a small bowl and leave to soak overnight. Alternatively, if you don't have time for this, put the sultanas and juice into a small pan and place over a low heat for 2-3 minutes to encourage the sultanas to soak up the juice.

2) Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line the bottom of a 18cm round cake tin.

3) Sift the flours, spices, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.

4) Add the sugar and mix well.

5) Whisk the eggs and combine them with the oil, then add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the carrot, walnuts and soaked sultanas until evenly distributed.

6) Spoon the mixture into the tin and spread it out evenly. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

7) Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting. Whisk the cheese until soft and fluffy, then beat in the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract until very smooth. Spread lashings of the frosting over the top and side of the cooled cake and decorate with carrot-shaped fondant and chopped pistachios. 

8) Serve and enjoy!






Topped with cute carrot fondants made by my daughter





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