I was given another baking challenge recently (you can see my attempt at heathy cupcakes here and my Hey Little Cupcakes here), and this time I had free reign to choose something from the Baking Mad website to make and write about here on Splodz Blogz. Well it’s nearly Easter so I thought I’d definitely go for something in the Easter baking section, and had pretty much decided I’d make the Easter Bunny Biscuits when I thought “I know, I’ll see what my husband would like me to make”… he chose the Carrot Cake.
This was the big pile of ingredients I needed…
Having sat and read the recipe through and got all my ingredients together I wondered if I would actually manage this. As someone who rarely bakes and therefore doesn’t really have much baking experience (apparently watching the Great British Bake Off doesn’t really count), I looked and decided this was a silly idea. I should have stuck with the biscuits.
First question. When a recipe says (which this does) 500g carrots, peeled and grated… does it mean weigh 500g carrote then peel and grate them? Or weigh out 500g of peeled and grated carrots? You see – I really don’t know what I’m doing here. Fell at the first hurdle. I decided it was 500g of peeled and grated carrots. Was I right? I don’t know. But that’s what I used.
Everything else made sense (I am naturally blonde you know) and I went about following the instructions to make the cake batter. I haven’t copied them all out here as you can see the instructions for yourself on the Baking Mad website, but basically you put the flavours in one bowl, then make the oil/sugar/flour/egg mixture in another, before beating them together. I used an electric whisk to do the hard work as suggested online, and it made light work of combining the oil with the sugar and then adding the eggs. At this point I thought there was an awful lot of stuff in my bowl, but once I mixed the batter with the flavours it all seemed to come together and reduce in size somehow – less air in amongst the grated carrot or something like that.
I put the cake mixture in the tin and bunged it in the oven. An hour later I checked it and my skewer came out covered in batter… not cooked. I ended up leaving it in for another half an hour so 1 hour 30 minutes in total. Seemed like ages. Do cakes normally take this long? I ended up having to leave the cake overnight to cool as it was getting late – icing waited for the next evening. It did look a bit dark on the outside and I was worried I’d now overcooked it, but when I took it out of the tin the next day it was still light and moist underneath and not too solid around the edges.
The following evening I carefully took the cake out of the tin and made the icing. Mmmm butter, soft cheese and icing sugar – all beaten together using an electric whisk. Yum. It was easy to make and very light. Actually it was a bit runny, and a bit lumpy despite much whisking, but it tasted right. Being a tad runny it was difficult to spread nicely on the cake – it kept slipping off. So I put it in the fridge for a little while and tried again, which seemed to do the trick.
Splodz Blogz Verdict
So my Easter Carrot Cake, which I decorated with shop bought chocolate carrots, looks a bit of a mess to be honest. But the proof of the pudding is always in the eating – I’m not auditioning for Masterchef or anything – and thankfully this does taste really good. It’s a good job because of the time it took and the money I spent on ingredients, I’d have been distraught if it tasted foul!!
It’s a filling cake although moist and much lighter than a fruit cake, and it has a tang to it from the combination of carrots, coconut, cinnamon and raisins. The icing is the perfect accompaniment giving some real sweetness to the dish. Really good actually, I am actually pleased!
Next time (if I ever do this again!) I’ll probably use slightly less carrot and will see if I can make the icing nicer, but I’d say this was a pretty decent effort.
Recipe wise this one from the Baking Mad website was easy to follow and what I ended up with was a really nice cake… there’s still a bit left if anyone fancies a taste?!