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Tuesday 12 March 2013

Baking for Beginners: Boozy Carrot Cake

All this crazy weather has had me craving some comforting cake and it's been far too cold to leave the house which meant I had to raid the cupboards to see what kind of cake it was going to be. I had plenty of carrots in the fridge so I opted for my all time fave: a carrot cake.

We are massive carrot cake fans here at Sluttery Towers and have carrot cakes for every occasion but cold weather also calls for a bit of booze to warm the bones so I soaked the sultanas in some spiced rum for good measure. I used Paul Hollywood's recipe as a guide then swapped and added a few ingredients to tailor it to my taste, despite Mr Hollywood's explicit instructions to stick to his exact recipe and method my fiddlings turned out rather triumphant (phew).

Boozy Carrot Cake (serves 6 - 8)
You will need:
  • 150g sultanas
  • 50ml spiced rum (I used Kraken)
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch grated fresh nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 balls stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 250g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 150g walnut pieces (plus a few extra to decorate)
  • 260g grated carrot
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 4 medium free range eggs, beaten
  • 150ml rapeseed oil (I like to use a nutty one like Cotswold Gold)
For the Icing:
  • 50g butter
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 2 capfuls orange blossom extract
  • seeds from 1 vanilla pod
Make it!
  1. Soak the sultanas in the rum for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) then drain and drink the rum (well it's a shame to waste it).
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line a 22cm loose bottomed cake tin with grease proof paper and rub the inside with a bit of oil.
  3. Sieve together the flour, baking powder and spices then add the ginger, sugar, nuts, carrot and ground almonds and mix then finally the eggs and oil making sure everything is really well mixed together.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 1hr 20mins or until a skewer comes out from the centre clean, if the top of the cake is starting to get a bit too brown just cover it with a bit of foil. Once cooked remove from the oven and cool completely.
  5. To make the icing just beat all the ingredients together. Once the cake is completely cool slice it in half across the middle, cover  the base with one half of the icing then top with the other half of the cake and cover with the remaining icing, sprinkle with a few walnuts to decorate.

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