Carrot Cake with Pecan Brittle

Cakes, Uncategorized

This cake is a straight forward throw-it-all-in, mix, bake and frost situation (but tastes uh-mazing). The pecan brittle is optional but I think the nutty crunch and slightly bitter caramel really adds to the spiced sponge and tangy cream cheese frosting- definitely a winner!

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Ingredients:

  • 225ml vegetable oil
  • 225g soft light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g grated carrot
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tsp ginger
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2tsp mixed spice
  • 75g chopped pecans
  • For the brittle: 100g caster sugar, 100g pecans, pinch salt
  • For the frosting: 80g butter, 250g full fat cream cheese, 400g icing sugar, zest 1 lemon

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease and line a square brownie tray (about 22x22cm).
  2. Place the oil, sugar, eggs and grated carrot in a large mixing bowl and briefly whisk to combine. Now sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt and mixed spice and beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth. Fold in the pecans.
  3. Tip this mixture into the square tin and bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
  4. While the cake is cooking, make the brittle. To do this simply place the pecans and sugar in a  heavy bottom pan and gently heat until the sugar melts (don’t stir but swirl the pan occasionally). Once the sugar has melted allow it to reach deep golden brown then pour onto a piece of greaseproof paper and allow to set hard and cool.
  5. Once your cake is cooked and cooling on a rack (in the tin), make the frosting. Beat the butter until smooth then add the cream cheese and whisk until combined. Gradually pour in the icing sugar and continue to whisk for a few minutes- you should achieve light smooth consistency. Stir in the lemon zest last.
  6. Turn the cake out of the tin once it’s cooled and level off if necessary. Spread a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting all over then break up the brittle and sprinkle on.
  7. Slice up and serve (and try to resist coming back for a second piece).

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Easy Peasy Chocolate Fudge Cake

Cakes

Sometimes you just can’t beat the classics, so I decided it was about time I shared my tried and tested chocolate cake recipe. Simple but delicious, this chocolatey treat is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and can be jazzed up for parties or left plain for a tea time treat- go on, give it a try!

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For the fudgey sponge, you will need: 350g plain flour, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 400g caster sugar, 80g cocoa powder, pinch salt, 1tsp espresso powder, 3 eggs, 160ml vegetable oil, 250ml milk, 100g dark chocolate, 150ml boiling water

Grease and line two small cake tins. Preheat the oven to 180c (fan).

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, caster sugar, cocoa powder, salt and espresso powder.

In a jug, whisk the eggs,vegetable oil and milk. Pour into the dry mixture and combine thoroughly.

Take the dark chocolate and melt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave to cool for a few minutes then fold into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.

Add the boiling water a splash at a time, mixing carefully until thoroughly combined.

Split the mix between the two cake tins and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until springy.

Leave the cakes in their tins to cool for ten minutes then remove and leave to return to room temperature on a wire rack.

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While the sponges are cooling, making the frosting with: 600g icing sugar, 125g soft butter, 6tbsp milk, 100g dark chocolate, 50g cocoa powder.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water then set aside to cool.

Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl then cube in the soft butter. Add the milk. Using an electric whisk, mix together the ingredients, then add the melted chocolate and whisk again until completely smooth. If the frosting is too stiff just add some more milk until the desired spreadable consistency is achieved.

Take your sponges and cut them in half horizontally, leaving you with four layers. Frost between the layers then cover the outer edges. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings for a simple finish.

Enjoy!