I like to think of myself as a relatively modest person, but my recent Carrot Cake endeavour had me almost shouting on the rooftops, it was that good! I, too, frown upon fishing for compliments, but this bloody delicious cake had me forcing it upon anyone who passed our threshold and demanding a mark out of ten. True story! This isn't just me being boastful though, it really was pretty yum - one friend had one mouthful and announced I no longer needed to buy her a 21st birthday present, just to make her an entire cake for herself. Sounds like a plan. If you fancy tasting this magnificent cake for yourself, here's what you gotta do...
1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, and line your cake tin with foil to avoid any unnecessary scrapings once it's baked. Pop 175g of Muscovado sugar, 175 ml of sunflower oil (really!) and 3 eggs into a mixing bowl, and stir furiously!
2) Grate up two entire carrots, until you've got what looks like a pile of lovely, chopped-up ginger hair. If you're going to be really fastidious about it, chop it up a bit so the strands aren't too long and stringy. Zest the rind of an orange, but resist sampling a morsel - it ain't as tasty as it smells, believe me.
3) Finely chop up a handful of walnuts and chuck that, as well as the carrots 'n' zest, into the rather gelatinous mixture. Reflect for a moment about how this cake is actually really, really healthy what with all the nuts, fruit and veg it contains (ignore all the sugar, oil and, later on, icing - you can't sweat about the small details.)
4) Add 175g of (sieved) self-raising flour and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (definitely don't taste this). Finally, to add a bit of spicy goodness, you'd best put in a big teaspoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Once it's all stirred together, pour it into your cake tin and whack it in the oven for 40-45 minutes. You may now lick the spoon.
5) Once the baking is all over and done with, I'm afraid you have another agonizing wait before eating may commence - it needs to cool right down before you can ice it, unfortunately. I feel your pain; I got so antsy that I put it in front of a fan to try and hurry up the process a bit.
6) After about half an hour or so, you could distract yourself by making the icing. I personally think it would be a crime not to pair it with cream cheese icing, but if you are a bit vanilla in your tastes, you could always opt for a butter icing. Mush together tablespoon of full-fat cream cheese (none of that Philadelphia Light, please), half a tablespoon of butter and shitloads of icing sugar. Keep dipping your finger in, and since you may be biased as you want to eat it as soon as possible, get someone else to check it, too. It's surprisingly hard to strike the balance right so that it doesn't just taste like just sugar or just cream cheese, but the two combined. Once the cake is cool to the touch, you're good to go. Smother that badboy in the extremely delicious cream cheese icing, and throw on a few more walnuts for good measure. Ta-da! Looks amazing, no? Wait 'til you try it.
Such a tasty success was the cake, it was a mere few days later that round two of carrot cake bakin' commenced. Before you think 'You greedy pigs!', it was for a gift. My sister & I gave the lovely Jemma this rather delightful cake stand for her birthday, and it would be rude not to fill it with cupcakes, wouldn't it? The upside to making carrot cupcakes is that they take a mere 20 minutes to bake, so you can eat them sooner - I mean, give them away sooner. Shh.