FRESH START CARROT & PECAN CAKE
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.