Monday, March 14, 2011

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for the carrot cake:
2 eggs
5 fluid ounces vegetable oil
7 ounces soft light brown sugar
11 ounces grated carrot (weight when grated)
3 1/2 ounces raisins
3 ounces pecans or walnuts, chopped, optional
6 1/2 ounces self-rising flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice, also known as pudding spice

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Ingredients for mixed or pudding spice:
1 teaspoon allspice
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger

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Ingredients for the orange cream cheesefrosting:
9 ounces cream cheese, chilled
4 T butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces icing sugar (confectioners'), sifted
finely grated zest of 1 orange

Preparing the mixed or pudding spice:
Grind the allspice, cinnamond and cloves to a fine powder and mix well with the nutmeg and ground ginger. Use at once or store in an airtight jar away from light.

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Preparing the carrot cake:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and line a 5- by 9-inch loaf pan with greaseproof or parchment paper, and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, and then add the 5 ounces oil, brown sugar, grated carrot, raisins, and chopped nuts, if using.

Sift in the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mixed spices, and bring the mixture together using a wooden or large metal spoon.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, smooth the surface, and bake in the oven for 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack before serving.

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Preparing the icing:
In a bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together, until combined. Add the vanilla extract, confectioners' sugar, and finely grated orange zest, and mix to combine. The icing should be smooth, and quite thick. Using a palette knife, spread the icing evenly over the cooled cake, dipping the knife into a bowl of hot water if the icing is hard to spread out. Cut the cake into slices to serve.


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