This recipe is from the Leiths Vegetable Bible and it is indeed the BEST – admittedly I’ve never made a Carrot Cake before but I have eaten them (a lot) and this is the yummiest, by far.
What you need:
butter, for greasing
200g/7oz plain flour
1 heaped tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
225ml/8 fl oz vegetable oil
225g/8oz soft light brown sugar
3 Large Eggs (from the happiest of Hen’s)
200g/7oz grated carrots
85g/3oz walnuts, roughly chopped (You could toss them in a ½ tsp of flour to prevent them from sinking BUT nuts & fruit only really sink when a batter is too WET, if you follow this recipe on the nose then this batter will be thick enough to hold the weight of the walnuts)
For the Icing:
125g/4 ½ oz cream cheese
110g/40z sifted icing sugar
¼ tsp almond essence (Leiths say 1 tsp but I find that far too over-powering, my boyfriend however LOVES it, so it’s all down to personal taste)
What you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 170°c/325°c/gas mark 3. Grease a 20cm/8in deep cake tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.
Sift together the flour, salt, bicarb, baking powder & cinnamon and set to one side.
Whisk the oil & sugar together in a large bowl and then beat the eggs one at a time into the mixture until it resembles mayonnaise.
Fold in the dry ingredients and then the carrots & the walnuts.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1-1 ½ hours – until the cake is well risen and feels firm when pressed with the fingertips and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. My oven seems to take about 70 minutes but everyone’s oven is different.
Remove the cake from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled beat the cream cheese together with the sifted icing sugar & almond essence and spread over the top and if you like round the sides.
Then comes the best bit – slice it, stick your feet up and enjoy.