Cherry Brandy Soaked Carrot Cake with Lime Cheese Frosting.
I call this one of my Redemption Recipes. What I mean by Redemption Recipe, is that I try and salvage what is left of my culinary dignity by cooking something in the present that I once failed to do in the past. My redemption for this recipe, is the carrot cake.
I recall being in University when my friend Jenn came over and showed me how to make a carrot cake. Grateful for the lesson, as I was very much a kitchen novice at the time, I assisted in all the necessary bits required to put the cake into practice. Preheated the oven, grated the carrots, made the frosting and all that follows. Sliding the tin into the oven was a real achievement as baking was never my forte, and yet there I was, under the watchful eye of my tutor, sliding my own beautiful carrot cake into the oven.
Then again, little did I know that I had in fact put my grill on to 180C not the oven and consequently grilled the top of the carrot cake to a charred black alligator skin whilst leaving the underbelly of the carrot cake still as sloppily damp as it went in.
Suffice to say I was slow clapped out of the Kitchen.
But as always, the pioneer that I am, I have decided to share my Redemption with Buzz Magazine this month as a means of proving to not only Jenn, not only you, but also to myself that I am capable of putting a tin of carroty batter into an oven and removing it to reveal a glossy, damp and perfectly squidgy carrot cake.
Very easy recipe, yes there is some soaking overnight, but your mouth will thank you. My only request is that you ensure lots of false smiling and laughing with every step you take of the recipe. Food shoots can be extremely stressful as you are trying to focus on many things at once but I promise you, nothing is as fun as pouring icing from great heights and showing the world how hilarious it is.
(Find out where to find the magazine locally by clicking here —> http://www.buzzmag.co.uk/distribution-outlets/find-a-buzz-cardiff-and-outskirts/)
Summer parties call for a baked treat on the Kitchen counter, but a treat that is refreshing to eat for the guest and calming to bake for the host. This citrus spiked carrot cake ticks both boxes and uses up that cherry brandy you’ve had knocking about since Christmas!
FOR THE CARROT CAKE:
1. 250g Carrots
2. 1 Cup Cherry Brandy
3. 250ml Vegetable Oil
4. 250g Caster Sugar
5. 1 Orange
6. Pinch of salt
7. 3 Eggs
8. 250g Self Raising Flour
9. 100g Pistachio Nuts
FOR THE LIME CHEESE FROSTING:
1. 300g Full Fat Cream Cheese
2. 75g Icing Sugar
3. Juice of 2 Limes
1. Finely grate the carrots into a Tupperware box with a cheese grater before pouring over the cherry brandy, allowing to soak for a minimum of 3 hours but preferably overnight
2. Preheat the oven to 180C and line/grease a 23inch spring form tin
3. Combine the oil, sugar, orange zest and salt in a large bowl – or do as I do and lazily use an electric mixer
4. Add the eggs one by one and continue to mix until well combined
5. Sift the flour into the mixture, folding with a spoon to create a beige batter
6. Remove the soaked carrots from the brandy and pat dry in a colander with kitchen towel before slowly folding into the batter
7. Place the pistachios into a ziplock bag and bash with a blunt object to create shards – not too vigorously as you want a nice mix of both chunks and dust
8. Fold the nuts into the mixture – reserving a handful for the frosting – and continue to stir until combined
9. Pour this into the lined tin before placing in the oven for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean if you pierce the sponge
10. Allow to cool on a wire rack completely
11. For the frosting, combine all of the ingredients and gently stir to create a thick, glossy paste and allow to cool and harden in the fridge until the sponge has cooled completed
12. Once both have cooled, spread the frosting on its surface before sprinkling over the earlier retained pistachio nuts
Photo Credits: Lowri Bethan Photography (https://www.facebook.com/LowriBethanPhotography/?fref=ts)