Monday 16 March 2009

Carrot cake with orange icing

There are lots of carrot cake recipes available, but this one from Delia Smith is a definite winner for me. The recipe comes from her more recent 'How to Cook' series (before she lost face by doing the 'How to Cheat' series which I personally felt was a mistake!) and is in book one, in the Cakes and Biscuits for beginners chapter. I think it's appropriate that of all the things people can learn to cook, cakes come in book one!!! Delia is obviously a woman after my own heart!

This is called 'Low-Fat Moist Carrot Cake' in the book, but I first made it because it was the first recipe I found containing no nuts. I don't quite believe it's one of the quickest and easiest recipes ever, as Delia claims, but it's not too onerous either! I give you my slightly adapted recipe. The original can be found here.

Carrot cake
3oz (85g) dark brown soft sugar
3oz (85g) light brown soft sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 fl oz (120ml) sunflower oil
7oz (200g) self raising flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 rounded tsp mixed spice
grated zest 1 orange
7oz (200g) carrots (weight before prep) peeled and coarsely grated
6oz (175g) raisins

For the topping
Juice of one orange
Icing sugar (probably about 150-200g)

-Preheat oven to 170C/Gas 3. Grease and line an 8" square tin.
- Whisk the sugar, eggs and oil together in a bowl using an electric whisk. If your dark sugar is quite lumpy, it's best to squash all the lumps out first (otherwise you'll end up with pockets of sugar in the final cake).
- Sift the flour, bicarb and mixed spice into the bowl.
- Fold in the carrots, orange zest and raisins.
- Pour into the prepared tin and place in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes (although mine always takes longer - around 50-55minutes) until it is well risen and feels firm and springy to the touch when pressed lightly in the centre.
- Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. When the cake is nearly cool, make the icing. Mix the icing sugar and orange juice together to a pouring consistency. (Sorry this isn't more precise, but it depends how thick you want your icing, how juicy the orange you use is etc etc.)
- When completely cool, cut into pieces (12) and drizzle over the icing.

The syrup glaze that Delia specifies is really nice, but sadly I forgot all about it this time! Her quark cheese topping is absolutely gorgeous too, but I needed something more practical (i.e. could be stored outside a fridge) so an orange icing was better for me.
This was also part of the Comic Relief fund raising effort on my part. My work colleagues enjoyed this greatly. It's a really moist and juicy carrot cake, and is nice and spicy too, with lots of flavour from the dark sugar.


♥Rosie♥ said...

I do like slice or two of carrot cake ;0)

What a great bake for Red Nose Day - well done on raising funds with your scrummy bakes.

Your colleagues are very lucky to sample your scrummy bakes!

Maria♥ said...

Carrot cake is my down fall, especially with cream cheese frosting! This version looks and sounds really yummy.



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