Saturday, October 23, 2004
Carrot Birthday Cake
My sister turned 33 - well, actually, she did in August, she just haven't had the time to gather up the entire family and share her birthday until now! Seeing that I LOVE to bake (you'd never have guessed, would you?) I offered to do her a birthday cake. Actually, that's a lie - she already decided she wanted a carrot cake, I just offered to bake it!
I'm a big fan of carrot cake - even more, I'm a big fan of the cream cheese topping! Naturally, there has to be lots and lots of it, and preferably all over! With the birthday and everything, what would be more appropriate than doing it layer-cake style?
The recipe I use is from The Little Red Barn Baking Book. I bought this book when I lived in London and practically baked my way through it - not quite, but I sure have tried a lot of the recipes and they have never failed. It makes a very light and lovely cake, despite the cream cheese...
For the cake:
250 g. plain flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
345 g. caster sugar
280 ml. sunflower oil
300 g. grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
For the Cream cheese frosting:
200 g. cream cheese
100 g. butter
Icing /confectioners' sugar to taste
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Butter and flour two 23 cm. round, deep cake pans.
Sift the first five ingredients for the cake into a large bowl. In a different bowl, beat the eggs at high speed. Add the sugar and continue whisking until you have a nice pale and fluffy mixture. Add the oil in a steady stream, as if you were making mayonnaise, beating until the mixture holds a ribbon-like trail on the surface. Fold in the carrots, using a metal spoon, then the flour. Don't overmix.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before covering with cream cheese frosting - I layered them, and put cream cheese frosting between the layers and on top. The frosting is made by simply beating together the COMPLETELY softened butter and cream cheese and adding sifted icing sugar to taste (I like mine rather toothachingly sweet, hence the not so precise measure for the amount) This amount may not be quite enough to cover the sides of the cake as well, but it's fairly easy to adjust the amounts...
And if there's some left, it actually improves on fridge-keeping...
I'm a poor excuse for a cake decorator - but I'm a d*** good baker!