FRESH START CAR­ROT & PECAN CAKE

Cheshire Life - - Good Taste -

Serves 12-14

In­gre­di­ents

Zest and juice 3 or­anges; 160g Jumbo Flame raisins; 450ml Sun­flower oil; 6 Large eggs; 420g Light brown mus­co­v­ado sugar; 255g Whole­meal flour sifted; 255g Self-rais­ing flour sifted; 1.5 tsp Bak­ing pow­der; 3 tsp Bi­car­bon­ate of soda; 2Tbsp Mixed spice; 2Tbsp Cin­na­mon; 420g grated Car­rot; 160g Pecans, chopped Frost­ing: 230g Cream cheese; 800g Ic­ing Sugar; 140g But­ter; 2Tbsp Le­mon juice; Zest of 1-2 lemons

Can­died pecans: 100g Pecans; 10g Co­conut oil; 1tsp maple syrup; 1/2tsp Cin­na­mon Can­died or­anges: 1 x Or­ange; Sprin­kle Golden caster sugar Gar­nish: Rose­mary sprigs

1. Pre­heat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease and line 3 x 8-inch loose bot­tomed tins.

2. Pour the or­ange juice and zest over the raisins, pop in mi­crowave for 1 min.

3. Pour the sun­flower oil into a large jug, add the eggs and whisk to fully com­bine.

4. Into a large mix­ing bowl, mea­sure out the flours, bi­car­bon­ate of soda, bak­ing pow­der & mus­co­v­ado sugar; stir well. Add the raisin and or­ange juice/zest mix­ture, grated car­rot, chopped pecans and egg/oil mix­ture to the dry in­gre­di­ents. Mix with a spat­ula.

5. Split the mix­ture be­tween the three pre­pared tins and pop in the oven for 35 mins, or un­til a skewer in­serted into the cen­tre of both cakes comes out clean.

6. Once cooked, re­move the cakes from the tins and leave on a cool­ing rack. Mean­while, lower the tem­per­a­ture of the oven to around 100C

7. Finely slice the or­ange and place on kitchen paper, re­mov­ing as much mois­ture as pos­si­ble. Place on a lined bak­ing tray and sprin­kle spar­ingly with golden caster sugar. Bake in the oven for around 1 hour or un­til it starts to crisp and dry out, don’t let them colour. Once ready, leave in the turned-off oven to dry out fur­ther un­til cool.

8. For the cream cheese frost­ing, beat to­gether the cream cheese and but­ter. Add the ic­ing sugar in two stages, beat­ing well be­tween each ad­di­tion. Finely add the le­mon zest and beat one fi­nal time to fully com­bine. Cover and set aside un­til ready to use.

9. Now to the can­died pecans – add the co­conut oil, maple syrup and pecans to a fry­ing pan and place over a medium heat turn­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til lightly brown­ing and fra­grant– be care­ful not to let them catch.

10. To dec­o­rate, place one of the cooled cakes on a cake board, smother with frost­ing. Add the sec­ond cake and re­peat, be­fore fin­ish­ing with the fi­nal layer – en­sure the bot­tom of the cake be­comes the top to give neat edges.

11. Smooth the re­main­ing frost­ing over the top and sides, neaten with a cake scarper cre­at­ing a naked fin­ish and use a pal­ette knife for the top to cre­ate a swirled pat­tern.

12. Ar­range the pecans and can­died or­anges around the out­side cir­cum­fer­ence of half to three quar­ters of the top of the cake, gar­nish with rose­mary sprigs for some added flour­ish if you wish. Serve.

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