3.09.2012

Paul Hollywood's Ultimate Carrot Cake!! Ulitmate Bake-Off!

Here’s the second cake for the Ultimate Bake-Off hosted by Delicious Magazine UK! Paul Hollywood’s Ultimate Carrot Cake, I didn’t think it would stand a chance against a chocolate cake, but I would have to say it is my favorite of the two.
I have never made a carrot cake before!! There is a first for everything!! I have had the Hummingbird Bakery carrot cake on my list for ages, but never got around to it. However this cake turned out amazing, I may never try a different recipe! It is moist and has just the right amount of spice. Delicious. Thank you Paul Hollywood!!
I don’t know what the vote will be at Mr. Knightly’s office but this is the winner for me! My Mini-Baker has just asked me for another slice. I am going to slip her one before it gets whisked off to the office! As I am typing this she has informed me that I should hide the cake from Daddy. I guess this is definitely one I will be making again! ;0)
Enjoy!!
 For the cake:
155g sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing.
230g self-rising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground ginger
230g light brown muscovado sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 satsuma or mandarin, plus strips to decorate (I once again omitted this as my husband is allergic to citrus)
100g pecan halves
260g carrots, coarsely grated
3 medium eggs, beaten

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160F/gas4
Grease your tin; Paul used an 18cm (7in) loose-bottomed round cake tin. I don’t happen to have that size, so I used my 23cm (9in) loose-bottomed round cake tin. I have 2 8in sandwich rounds (which I used for the Mary Berry Cake) but I wanted this as one cake. I did adjust my baking time.
Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl
Add the sugar, zest (if using), pecans, and grated carrots
Stir until well combined
Stir in the beaten eggs and sunflower oil
Mix well!!
Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 1 hour. I baked mine for 40 minutes then covered with tin foil to keep the top from getting to brown and baked for another 10 minutes and it came out perfect. If you are using a bigger tin then recommended one of the things you need to be aware of is the top browning too much as there is more surface area. If you were to use 2 8in sandwich tins you’d want to bake for even less time as they wouldn’t be as thick/deep. If you know what I’m saying?!?
When a skewer comes out clean let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes then leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

While the cake is baking you can get the icing done as it benefits from sitting in the fridge for a bit.

For the frosting:
50g butter, softened
200g full-fat cream cheese (1 tub)
150g icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
2 tsp orange juice (use the juice of your satsuma or mandarin, I didn’t obviously do this for my cake, but I added it in so you can choose, plus I’m sure it tastes delicious with the added orange flavour!)

Beat the butter in a large bowl until really soft (easy to do with a hand mixer!)
Add the cream cheese and beat until well mixed
Sift in the icing and add the orange juice if using
Then beat until smooth
Store covered in the fridge until needed.
Paul gives directions for piping I however didn’t follow the leader and I just spread my icing on.
Here are his tips with some of them in my words! ;0)
  1. If you have a piping bag great! If you don’t, no worries just use a freezer bag with the corner snipped off.
  2. He used a 0.5 nozzle to ice his cake, but size isn’t important – just a steady hand (it’s what all the girls say!)
  3. Don’t overfill your chosen piping bag, keep enough of it empty so you can twist the top which will help to apply even pressure.
  4. Guide the icing in tight lines unto the cake, using one hand to direct the nozzle and the other to squeeze the icing down the bag.
  5. Carefully pipe lines across the cake, then give the cake a quarter turn and pipe more lines on top (same as before).
  6. And last but not least if you’re unhappy with the way it looks just smooth it out!! See I was just too lazy to try it all!! But no worries if you mess up!!
To finish dust with a little icing sugar and some grated satsuma/mandarin zest on top!

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