DW wants to try this one:
Carrot cake with orange buttercream and walnuts
For the cake
- 200g (7oz) plain flour
- 2 slightly heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g (3½oz) walnuts, roughly chopped, plus some extra walnut halves to decorate
- 250g (9oz) runny honey
- 100g (3½oz) carrots, peeled and finely grated
- 180g (6¼oz) pitted dates, chopped
- 2tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp grated nutmeg
- 100g (3½oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
For the buttercream icing
- 250g (9oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 500g (1lb 2oz) icing sugar, sifted
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange, well washed
- 100ml (3½fl oz) double cream
For the carrot confit (optional)
- 150g (5½oz) golden caster sugar
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease a 22cm loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
Put the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and the roughly chopped walnuts in a large bowl and set it aside. Then put the honey, carrots, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter in a pan and add 200ml of water.
Place the pan over a gentle heat and let everything melt together, then simmer for 5-7 minutes. Tip the mixture into a clean bowl and leave to cool until lukewarm, then stir in the flour, bicarb and walnuts.
Pour the mixture into the lined tin, then bake for 45 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream, put the butter in a bowl with the icing sugar and orange zest. Using an electric hand mixer, beat until soft. Whisk the cream to soft peaks and fold it into the butter and sugar mixture.
To make the carrot confit, if using, put the sugar in a pan with 200ml of water and slowly bring to the boil over a gentle heat. Add the carrot and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Strain off the liquid and leave the strips of carrot on a piece of greaseproof paper to cool.
To assemble the cake, cut it in half horizontally. Spread some of the buttercream on the bottom layer, cover with the other half of the cake and spread the rest of the icing on top.
Then decorate with the walnut halves and the carrot confit, if using.
Extracted from Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery Course by Rosemary Shrager, published by BBC Books, £20. Offer price £16 until 06/10/2018, order at mailshop. co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640, p&p is free on orders over £15. Photography © Andrew Hayes-Watkins.
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