America: Carrot Cake

Homemade Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

200ml sunflower oil

250g soft brown sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

250g self raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

pinch of salt

1/4 freshly squeezed lemon juice

150g grated carrots (about 3 large)

150g chopped walnuts (leave extra halved to decorate)

For the cream cheese:

200g cream cheese

50g butter

275g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

squeeze of lemon juice

With the help of Nigella Lawson and Nigel Slater I referred to both their recipes of carrot cake to form my own.

Method

1. Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4 and line two cake tins with baking parchment.

2. Beat the sugar, oil, eggs and and vanilla until creamy.

3. Sift together the flour, bio carbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and gently fold into the mix. Pour in the lemon juice.

4. Fold in the grated carrots and chopped walnuts.

5. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins. If you find you have too much mixture then pour the rest into cupcake cases. Bake for 40-45 minutes. If the top becomes brown too quickly then cover with tin foil until cooked. Test with a skewer.

To make the icing:

1. Mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

2. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and beat together with the butter and cream cheese.

3. Pour in the vanilla extract and squeeze in the lemon juice. The mixture should be creamy and smooth.

4. Once the cake has cooled spread evenly in the middle and over the top with a palette knife. Sandwich the two halves together and decorate with the walnut halves.

Best to eat with friends in the afternoon with a cup of tea…

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