Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Brenda's Mum's Carrot Cake

Well, I couldn't find anywhere else to put it so I thought I would put it here for safe keeping!

It is probably the best carrot cake in the world - moist, chunky, tasty, sweet and above all - comforting. Thanks Brenda, her mum and of course the chickens. The italicised items are my notes!

For the Icing - May need a little less for a tray bake?!
400g icing sugar
100g cream cheese
50g unsalted butter

For the Cake
2 eggs
200g soft brown sugar
150ml corn, sunflower or vegetable oil
200g grated carrot
50g walnut or pecan pieces, roughly chopped - Could use raisins or sultanas
75g diced pineapple, fresh or tinned, roughly chopped
50g desiccated coconut
200g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 150 C(300 F/Gas 2) Line a 21 cm (8 1/4 in tin with baking paper) - You can use a tray bake as an alternative - 20cm x 15cm (ish)!

The icing needs to be prepared in advance so that it can be chilled before spreading over the cake, so make this first.  Beat the cream cheese and butter together thoroughly - easiest with an electric whisk, but strong hand beating would also work.  Add the icing sugar to the mix in three equal batches, beating well between each addition. - This can get messy as icing sugar creates a great alternative to dry ice (theatre smoke) when beaten with an electric whisk - Put in the fridge to set.

In a large bowl, using an electric beater, whisk the the eggs at high speed until doubled in volume.  Add the sugar and continue beating until pale and fluffy. - Not sure mine went fluffy at this point, more creamy than fluffy! - With the whisk still on high speed, add the oil in a slow steady stream.  Keep beating until the mix holds the shape of any trail across the surface - Hold might be a little strong! Kinda like corn flour and water mix: holds then slowly then reforms!?.

Gently fold the carrot, walnut or pecan pieces - or sultanas / raisins if using them -, pineapple and coconut into the cake mixture with a metal spoon in a figure of eight technique.  Sift the flour into the bowl with the cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and fold them in gently too.

Transfer the mixture to the baking tin - again with care, so that the air you've taken care to whisk in isn't whacked out. - I love that description / instruction! - Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the centre of the cake.  If the top of the cake seems to be browning too much before the centre is ready, balance a piece of baking paper or foil across the top of the tin and it will protect the cake from burning.

Leave the cake to cool for 10-15 mins before turning it out onto a wire rack.  When it is completely cold, slice the cake in half horizontally and spread a third of the cream cheese mixture over the bottom half - Of course if you used a tray bake then it would be unwise to cut in half! -.  Put the top back on and cover the whole cake with the remaining icing. 

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