Kitchen Gar­den Cook

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

Me­lanie John­son elevates the hum­ble carrot cake

Serves 6

In­gre­di­ents

Sponge 100g sul­tanas

Juice and zest of 1 blood or­ange, plus 3 more to serve

3 free-range eggs

100g light-brown sugar

125ml veg­etable oil

30ml runny honey Half a tea­spoon ground gin­ger

Half a tea­spoon ground cin­na­mon

250g self-rais­ing flour

200g car­rots, grated

85g hazel­nuts, roughly chopped

Ic­ing

50g un­salted but­ter

100g cream cheese

300g ic­ing sugar

Method

Pre­heat your oven to 180˚C/350˚f/gas mark 4 and grease a 9in spring-form tin, plac­ing a cir­cle of bak­ing parch­ment in the base.

Gen­tly heat the sul­tanas in a small pan with the juice from one of the blood or­anges un­til it lightly bub­bles, then re­move it from the heat and set it aside for the fruit to soak up the juice.

Whisk to­gether the eggs and sugar in a large bowl, then add the oil and mix thor­oughly. Add the honey and spices and mix again, be­fore pour­ing in the sul­tanas and any re­main­ing juice from the pan.

Sift the self-rais­ing flour into the wet in­gre­di­ents and fold through un­til just com­bined. Stir in the grated carrot, or­ange zest and chopped hazel­nuts, then pour the mix­ture into the pre­pared cake tin. Bake for 25–30 min­utes or un­til a skewer comes out clean and the top of the sponge is lightly browned. Re­move the cake from the tin and cool it on a wire rack.

To pre­pare the ic­ing, mix the in­gre­di­ents to­gether in a large bowl us­ing an elec­tric whisk. Use a low set­ting at first, to avoid a cloud of ic­ing sugar, build­ing up to a faster speed and mix­ing un­til smooth.

Slice the top off the cake to cre­ate an even sur­face and cover with ic­ing. Serve each slice with a few seg­ments of blood or­ange.

This is carrot cake, but not as you know it–the de­li­cious, blood-or­ange soaked sul­tanas add such flavour to the al­ready moist sponge, el­e­vat­ing the hum­ble carrot to some­thing rather spe­cial

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