Whoever first combined the Great British brew with a large piece of homemade cake surely deserves their own statue in Trafalgar Square or at least their own Bank Holiday. Not to be underestimated is the restorative power of the humble cuppa and yesterday morning I abandoned my usual responsibilities to indulge in a mornings worth of tea drinking, cake eating and animated chatter with some lovely friends. Unfortunately this is an all too rare event as co-ordinating everybodys work commitments seems as simple as asking the hens to form an orderly queue for breakfast. However, yesterday most of us assembled in the garden room to celebrate friendship on a glorious sunny morning armed with a slice of something highly calorific which on this occasion was my carrot cake. As I have been asked for the recipe three times in the last 24 hours I thought it best to broadcast this little slice of happiness for all to share! This recipe is my tried and tested favourite, feel free to add mashed banana or sultanas as you please. You will notice most of my measurements and guidelines are ‘approximate’ which is an apt adjective for my cooking ethos, although this is sometimes exchanged for ‘chaos’.
Fridays Carrot Cake
Grease and line a small roasting tin, approx 12 x 9 inches, pre-heat the oven to 160C (Fan).
In a large bowl mix up 10oz of self raising flour, 12oz of golden caster sugar, 2 level tsps of baking powder, 3oz of chopped nuts, 3 level tsps of ground cinnamon, 2 level tsps of ground ginger.
Add half a pint of sunflower oil, 10oz of grated carrots, 4 large eggs and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Beat all the ingredients together and pour into your tin.
Bake in the oven for approx 50 mins or until golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 or 10 minutes before turning out to cool (remove the parchment).
To make the topping, mix together 3 tubs of full fat Philly, 6 tsps of clear honey and 3 tsps of lemon juice. Make sure you beat this until it’s really smooth then spread liberally on the top of your carrot cake with a palette knife. You can decorate with cinnamon or mixed nuts if you wish but I personally prefer to leave it plain.
For an alternative topping you can use mascarpone cheese with a few drops of vanilla extract and sieved icing sugar to taste. This topping can be very sweet so you may not want to have such a thick layer.
Now in my humble opinion the secret to a really special carrot cake is in the temperature. This next step is by no means essential but I think it helps produce a cake with a better texture. Once you’ve topped your cake, carefully cover and leave in the fridge overnight before removing an hour of so before sharing!