Friday, 15 October 2010

Carrot-Nut Cake

Ever since I made a disaster with a carrot cake recipe about 6 years ago (the batter remained a complete goo with the surface burnt), I became very wary and reluctant to try and make another. No, I am not a very persistent type. However my partner accidentaly bought 2 packages of carrots and we are stuck with more carrots than we know what to do within a reasonable time frame, I finally decided to give another go at a cake. This idea is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe which has been slightly modified, and it came out perfect, to my surprise. As always, I can count on this bloke :-)

• 250g butter, softened
• 250g brown sugar
• 5 large eggs, separated
• zest and juice of 1 orange
• 200g flour, sifted
• 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 80g chopped almonds (or hazelnuts)
• 80g walnuts, chopped
• 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 250g carrots, coarsely grated
• pinch of salt

for the icing:
• 250g mascarpone
• 85g icing sugar, or as much as it needed to attain a smooth consistency
• a few drops of vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180ÂșC. Generously butter a 22cm square or round cake form.
Beat the butter and sugar together until it becomes frothy.
Beat in the egg yolks.
Add the orange zest and juice.
Stir in the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
Add the nuts, spices and grated carrot and mix together well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then gently fold into the cake mix.
Scoop the mixture into the prepared cake form and cook in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes until golden and risen.
(toothpick check recommended, and make sure the toothpick comes out clean)
Leave the cake to cool in the form for 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a rack and leave for at least an hour.

Mix the icing ingredients together until smooth, and spread generously over the cake.

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