But what about the Carrot Cake? Jenny baked this cake for me for my birthday back in February, and I have been obsessing with baking it ever since then. It is that good, and is a large cake, deliciously moist, and can feed 16 people very easily. There is real value in that. And it is a cinch to make. I am generally the person who enjoys cooking cakes for other people for various reasons, and when someone makes me a cake as a surprise it is extremely special. So I was very happy to bake this cake for John, and he was so excited. Last night 11 people ate reasonably sized cake portions and there was still a lot left over, which the birthday boy can enjoy during the week. The main course cooked by John was also delicious, Roast Lamb purchased from the local award winning Freckle Farm butcher, Roast vegetables, all cooked to perfection and served with a red wine jus and a shredded fresh beetroot salad. A perfect meal, and most of it from local suppliers.
I really recommend this cake to you my friends, everyone needs a delicious carrot cake in their repertoire, and with lots of leftovers.
Let's Cook Cake:
Serves 15-16 people
3 cups plain flour
2 cups castor sugar
1 teaspoon salt (can be omitted)
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1 cup undrained crushed pineapple
2 cups grated carrot (approx. 2 large carrots)
1 1/2 cups salad oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I prefer pecans although I threw some chopped walnuts on the icing)
Grease either a 23cm square tin or 2 x 8" round tins, and line with baking parchment.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
Sift dry ingredients together into a large bowl.
Add the wet ingredients, then the chopped nuts.
Allow an hour for the cake to cook in the large square tin, less for the round tins, depending on your oven. Keep an eye on it as every oven is different.
Cream Cheese Frosting: (love this)
250 gram block of softened cream cheese
50 gram unsalted softened butter
2 cups sifted icing sugar
In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer and beat the cream cheese and butter together until pale.
Add the icing sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy.
Spread the frosting over the cake, and sprinkle with extra chopped nuts, or edible flowers or whatever decoration you prefer. I made the cake on Thursday, iced it on Friday and then kept it stored in the refrigerator in a covered container as the weather warmed up and I couldn't risk the icing starting to melt, and running down the cake. It is a good idea to decorate with the fresh decorations just before serving.
However dear reader, it hasn't been all smooth sailing bringing this cake to fruition. I had committed to baking the cake, and then on Tuesday two days before I planned to make it, I had a kitchen accident. I hit my left little toe against the corner of the kitchen cupboard next to the stove, ouch$^&*(#, not broken I hoped, but certainly badly sprained and bruised. I have done it before in the kitchen, early in the morning when I wasn't wearing shoes, lesson learned. How can something so small be so painful? I knew it would take.a week to completely heal and hoped that after the first couple of days I would be able to tolerate wearing a sock inside a sandal with adjustable straps. So on Thursday, with a still tender foot in a sock and a sandal, I made this cake. I opted to make the square one, with the cream cheese frosting just because I wasn't feeling like fussing with a layered cake. However, this cake also works beautifully baked in 2 x 8 " round sandwich tins, and joined together by Lemon icing or Cream Cheese frosting. For afternoon tea I use lemon icing, however for dessert, Cream Cheese Frosting or cream is a must.
So dear friends, are you like me and have really hurt your foot or suffered another injury, just before you plan to do some serious cooking? I know it's cliche, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going, particularly in the kitchen don't you think, or do you just cancel if necessary?