Autumn is the time of year when one harvests seasonal fruits and vegetables, gathers blackberries in the hedgerows, nuts, and mushrooms in the forests… Like busy squirrels, we’re inclined to forage and then store away for the winter days ahead. During the upcoming months, we make jams, jellies and tasty preserves, sweet potato bake and pumpkin pie with cranberry sauce. It’s also the time of year when eating fruit tarts, homemade pies, and rich fruit cakes becomes a must…
Today I decided to make my own version of the carrot cake, it being my all time fall favourite! Cosy up on the couch, put on your favourite movie and settle down to a mouth watering experience as you take a bight out of this rich and fruity carrot cake made from seasonal fruit, nuts and berries.. it will definitely put a smile on your face!
- 250g white all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1 and a half teaspoons ground cinnamon
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 300 ml vegetable oil
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g brown sugar
- A few drops of natural vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 2 large carrots (peeled)
- 100g chopped pecans
- 60g sun dried raisins
- 50g chopped walnuts
For the Icing:
- 250g Mascarpone
- 100g icing sugar
- A fist full of pecans chopped in half
- a pinch of ground cinnamon
This recipe requires time and precision, so don’t rush and have fun with it!
Preparation time approximately: 45minutes
Cooking time approximately: 45minutes to 1h15 depending on the depth of your baking tin.
Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F or Thermostat 7) then lower the temperature to 180°C 15 minutes after putting the cake in (350°F or thermostat 6).
Grease a round baking tin of your choice. Coarsely grate the carrots into a small bowl and reserve for later. Chop the nuts into small pieces.
In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices (cinnamon and nutmeg). In a second bowl add the brown sugar and caster sugar, then mix in the oil. Beat until frothy. Poor in the vanilla extract and add each egg one at a time. Beat the mixture with a whisk until thick and smooth.
Sift the flour mixture into the eggs and sugar. Mix with a spatula making large rotating movements. Finish by adding the nuts, raisins and carrots. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for approximately 45minutes (or more, depending on the size and width of your baking tin).
Your cake is ready when the tip of the knife comes out clean. Take the cake out of the baking pan so that it can cool for at least half an hour before icing it.
Add the icing sugar and cinnamon to the mascarpone and mix in well. Poor half the icing into a piping bag (this icing will be used to decorate the top of the cake) and keep what’s left for the rest of the cake. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the icing and flatten it out gently with a spatula.
Once the cake is iced, use the piping bag to decorate the top with the design of your choice. Add walnuts around the bottom of the cake and sprinkle some ground cinnamon on the top as a finishing touch!
This cake makes the most decadent afternoon tea… enjoy it with a mug of warm apple cider, which will compliment the nuts and raisins perfectly. bon appétit!
Next week I’ll be making a two layered aquarelle cake. I hope I’ll see you here again soon…!