Carrot Cake

Whilst tidying out the fridge prior to going shopping, I realized we had a surfeit of carrots (Like 2 kilo bags).

I think the problem was heading to Tesco around 9pm one night and grabbing a bunch of reduced to clear veg….carrots were 5p, pairs of avocados 2p (we’ve been eating homemade guacamole by the bucketload).

Anyway, as we also had a glut of walnuts (thanks to a previous haul of reductions!) I quickly concluded that a Carrot Cake was definitely the way to go.

As it turned out there were still carrots left, so I popped the remainder through the food processor with the other veg that was lurking in the salad drawer, a few chillis, & a chunk of ginger and rustled up a pot of Asian-inspired soup.

Now, usually I’m a weigher rather than a measurer. This may surprise you, given my proclivity for quick & easy shortcuts, but I just prefer scales to cups.
My digital kitchen scales are ancient, I think I bought them the summer we moved in here (15 years ago) and I use them ALL the time; for cooking, baking, checking postage.
The batteries have been a bit iffy recently and up until now I’ve got away with taking them out & giving them a quick rub (WHY does that work? Is there actual legitimate science behind it? Or is it just MAJYK?)

Finally, today they just wouldnt start up; and unsurprisingly; the particular batteries it needed were the one type we didn’t have, so I found myself converting my metric amounts into cups – which felt pretty weird, as normally I’m doing it the other way round!

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 cups Self-Raising Flour (250g)
  • 2 cups Caster Sugar (400g)
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Vegetable Oil (350ml)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Carrots (350g)
  • 1 cup chopped Walnuts (120g)

Frosting:

  • 1 cup Cream Cheese (225g)
  • 1/2 cup Margarine (110g)
  • 4 cups Icing Sugar (450g)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup chopped Walnuts (120g) (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4
  2. Grease & line 2x 23cm cake tins
  3. In a bowl; combine flour, sugar & cinnamon IMG_20150822_144050694
  4. Add oil & eggs IMG_20150822_145148686
  5. Stir in carrots & walnuts IMG_20150822_145846043
  6. Distribute evenly between the tins IMG_20150822_150503327
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer; inserted in the centre; comes out clean
  8. Remove from oven & allow to cool
  9. To make the frosting; whisk together the cream cheese, marg, vanilla & icing sugar then incorporate the additional nuts if using IMG_20150822_214427247
  10. If your cakes are firm enough, split them both in half horizontally, giving you four layers of cake to build with (on this occasion, mine were too crumbly)
  11. Spread one cake with a generous layer of frosting before sandwiching another on top and adding another layer of frosting.
  12. Repeat, finishing with a final layer of frosting and adding your choice of decoration:
  • additional walnuts
  • Marzipan or fondant carrots
  • Grated orange zest

Do you have a favourite recipe for using up leftover ingredients? Please share in the comments!

Also, I’d love to hear if you try this one! 

And perhaps yours won’t collapse like mine did…

I wasn’t going to add this picture, but in the spirit of honesty and to show that we all have shameful disasters in the kitchen; THIS is what happened as I went to take a picture:

IMG_20150822_222357813

😂😂😂😂

It still tasted fantastic though!

IMG_20150822_231900985

I think I might turn the rest into cake balls & coat them in melted white chocolate.

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