I love,love,lovee carrot cake.It is easily one of my favourite cakes to eat!When I saw that there was a recipe for a carrot cake in Cake Days I knew I would have to bake it soon.I then got a request from someone to make a cake and I decided I would make this Carrot & Ginger Cake and see how it turned out.This recipe makes a massive four layer cake and therefore is only really suitable when catering for a large group of people.Alternatively you could half the quantities and make a smaller two layer cake which is what I think I will do when making this for my family.I found this recipe very easy and had no trouble with it at all.When the cakes came out of the oven they smelt divine and I wanted to have a slice right there and then but unfortunately this cake wasn't for me so I couldn't.While the cakes cooled I made up the cream cheese frosting and set it aside while the cakes cooled completely.When the cakes were cool I placed the first one on a plate and spread a small layer of frosting on top.I then placed the next cake on top and spread a small layer of frosting on it.I continued doing this until all four cakes were stacked one on top of the other.I then coated the whole four layer cake with a light covering of the cream cheese frosting.known as a crumb layer.This was suggested in the back of the book as it makes it much easier to frost the cake evenly.When I finished the crumb layer I then spread the rest of the frosting all over the cake and smoothed it out with a palette knife.I added a decorative swirl on the top of the cake using a palette knife as suggest in the book.I finished the cake off by topping with pecans.The cake was whisked away the next morning and as I didn't get to taste the cake myself I can't really comment on its taste.However,I did recieve rave reviews for this cake and was told not a crumb of it remained by the end of the day :P I think I will definitely be making this one again soon so I can taste it.
450g(1lb) peeled,finely grated carrots
2 tbsp peeled,grated root ginger
80ml(3fl oz) buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
350ml(12fl oz) vegetable oil
420g(15oz) caster sugar
500g(1lb 2oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
80g(3oz) pecans,roasted & chopped
100g(3 1/2 oz) softened unsalted butter
600g(1lb 5oz)icing sugar
1 tbsp grated orange zest
250g(9 oz) full fat cream cheese
Pecan halves to decorate
1.Roast the pecans by heating over a medium heat in a saucepan for two to three minutes until they start to turn brown.Remove from the pan,chop and set aside.
2.Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (325F),Gas mark 3,and line 4 20cm(8in) diameter cake tins with baking parchment.
3.Using a hand held electric whisk or freestanding mixer fitted with the paddle attatchment,mix together the carrots,root ginger,buttermilk,eggs,vanilla essence,vegetable oil and sugar until the ingredients are well combined.
4.Sift together the flour,baking powder,bicarbonate of soda,salt and ground spices,then slowly beat these into the egg and carrot mixture,adding the dry ingredients in three batches.Mix well after each addition,scraping down the sides of the bowl.Stir in the chopped pecans into the batter and mix until the cake batter is smooth and even.
5.Divide the batter between the four prepared sandwich tins and bake for about 30 minutes or until the top of each sponge bounces back when lightly pressed.Allow the cakes to cool completely,on a wire rack,while you make the frosting.
6.To make the frosting,using an electric whisk or freestanding mixer fitted with the paddle attatchment,mix together the butter and icing sugar on a low speed until combined but still powdery in consistency.Add the orange zest and cream cheese,increase the speed to medium to high and mix well until the frosting is smooth,light and fluffy.
7.When the sponges feel cold to the touch,spread some of the frosting between each layer and sandwich all four together.Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and outside of the assembled cake,then decorate with the pecan halves.