Tomorrow is Mother's Day and what better way to make your mum smile than to bake her a delicious cake?
This cake recipe came about when I had oranges leftover from making marmalade and my mum had received a large number of carrots in her weekly veg box. The cake recipe itself is loosely based on this Rachel Allen Carrot Cake and the icing is Nigella's from her Guinness Chocolate Cake recipe in feast, but orangified.
This cake is perfect for mums as it's vaguely healthy sounding so they can indulge without guilt. Plus, my mum loves it and what greater accolade do you need than that?
The first thing that has to be done is to line your cake tin with the baking parchment so that the cake won't stick to it while cooking.
Put your cake tin onto the baking parchment and draw around it with a pen or pencil. Cut out the circle and leave to one side.
Cut a strip of parchment that will fit around the interior of the tin and snip into one long side of the paper at regular itervals to a depth of about 2 cm to create a fringe. This will help the paper sit better in the tin.
Grease the tin with an old butter wrapper or a bit of parchment with butter/marg on it and add the long fringed piece of paper to the tin. Add the circle of parchment to the bottom and you're done. Leave the tin to one side till later.
It's best to do all your grating first to get it out of the way. Grate the carrots, I found that 5 medium carrrots gave me 250g when grated. Remove the zest from one the oranges with a fine grater or zester and then juice the orange. Keep everything in easy grabbing distance for the next bit.
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Break the eggs into the bowl and add the sugar and oil.
Whisk the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter.
Add the carrots and stir through.
Add the nuts, raisins and orange zest.
Mix thoroughly and add the flour and bicarbonate of soda.
This is also the point to add the spices; cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg.
Carefully fold in all the dry ingredients and ensure that there are no lumpy bits. Last ingredient to be mixed in is a tablespoon of the orange juice.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and place in the oven for 1 - 1¼ hours until a skewer comes out clean.
While the cake is cooking, make up the cream cheese icing.
Zest and juice the remaining orange and put to one side for the moment.
Put the cream cheese into a bowl and whisk until smooth.
Sieve the icing into the bowl and whisk into the cream cheese.
Pour in the cream and whisk into the cream cheese and icing sugar mixture. You will need to whip the icing for at least 2 -3 mins at this point until the it is quite stiff in texture.
Add the orange zest and 3 tablespoons juice. Once again whisk everything up until smooth and orangey tasting.
When everythings mixed together, again until quite stiff in texture, put the mixture into the fridge until it's needed. It is very important that the icing go into the fridge for at least 30 mins before use, as it helps to stiffen and set the mixture, making it easier to handle.
By now the cake should be finished baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in its tin for about 5 mins. When the cake is a little cooler, take it out of the tin, remove the baking parchment, and leave to cool on the wire rack.
When the cake is cool, put on a fancy plate and ice, using the cream cheese icing in the fridge.
Decorate the cake with slices of orange and serve to your very impressed mother.