Thursday, 20 March 2014

My carrot cake... I love Mary Berry!

We held a Great Welsh Bake Off in work this week so I decided to bake a carrot cake as I'd never made one before. It was a risky strategy and it would probably have been safer to bake my apple, cinnamon and walnut cake again, but I'm very keen to try something different every time I put my metaphorical baking hat on. I'm also a big fan of carrot cake and I wanted to see if I could make one that tasted as good as the carrot cake Neil made me for my birthday.

I used my beloved Mary Berry 'Cakes and Bakes' book again for the carrot cake recipe... the woman is amazing and she's never failed me yet!

Here's how the cake turned out:




So how did I make it? Read on and find out!


Ingredients

225g self raising flour
2 level tsp baking powder
150g light muscovado sugar
50g walnut pieces, chopped
100g carrots, coarsely grated
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
150ml sunflower oil

For the topping:
250g mascarpone cheese
2-3tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
25g walnut pieces, chopped

You'll also need a deep, round 20cm cake tin. I used my 23cm springform cake tin and it turned out fine with no problems. 




Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas mark 4. Lightly grease the cake tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper. Lining the base is always the part I hate most about every baking experience!

2. Put all the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and mix until thoroughly blended. 




3. I put all the dry ingredients in first (flour, sugar, baking powder, walnuts and carrots). I love the look of the grated carrots! The sugar, however, does not look appetising. 




4. I then added the mashed bananas (messy!), then put in the eggs and the sunflower oil. An electric mixer is preferable for blending the mixture but you can also beat by hand with a wooden spoon. I used my electric mixer and it worked perfectly as the mixture wasn't too thick, as has been the case with my last few baking adventures!




5. Next, turn the mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the surface. The mixture didn't look very tasty at this point! However, it was an excellent consistency so it was very easy to level the surface properly. 




6. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the cake is well risen, golden and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then loosen the side of the cake from the tin with a blunt knife, turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. As you can see from the photograph below, my cake did start to crack at the top but this didn't matter once I put the topping on. 




8. For the topping, put the mascarpone cheese into a small bowl, add the vanilla extract and icing sugar and beat together. You can also add the walnuts into the mixture if you want to, but I chose to decorate the top of the cake with them instead. 




9. Spread evenly over the top of the cake, then store your iced cake in the fridge. 


I was really pleased with the finished result... I used low fat mascarpone cheese for the icing so I don't think it tasted as rich as it could have, but overall I think it was a successful attempt! I was also worried about including the bananas as they tend to have quite an overbearing taste, but the banana flavour was very subtle and they made sure that the cake very moist. I think this cake actually had the best texture out of everything I've baked so far because it was so lovely and moist.




Does anyone have an alternative recipe for carrot cake, or have you ever tried Mary Berry's recipe? Let me know! 

2 comments:

  1. You cake looks so good! I grew up with my mam baking from Mary Berry since I was a kid, she has tonnes of all her old books too. I need to get me some kitchen scales so I can't bake from the cookbook I brought over with me, I can't do the converting between cups and scales the justice that her recipes deserve. I love her millionaires shortbread recipe too, always so good.

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    1. Mary Berry is the best :) Need to decide what I'm going to bake next...

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