Mary Berry’s Carrot, Walnut & Mascarpone Cake

As far as I’m concerned, any cake recipe that ends with “& Mascarpone” means you are on to a definite winner! This recipe has been tempting me for a while. Mary Berry sure knows a thing or two about cakes!

The process is so simple that it doesn’t warrant any photographic assistance: measure out all the ingredients and then mix them up together, before pouring the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm (deep) cake tin and popping in a preheated oven at 170 degrees C for 50-60 minutes. Simple!

Once baked (the cake should be well risen, golden and shrinking away from the sides of the tin and a fine skewer through the centre should come out completely clean) leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin before carefully removing and setting it out to completely cool on a wire rack.

The icing again requires a bit of arm muscle action in mixing, before generously slathering atop a beautifully risen and completely cooled cake! Store the cake in a fridge.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 level teaspoons of baking powder
  • 150g (5oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 50g (2oz) walnut pieces, chopped
  • 100g (4oz) carrots, coarsely grated
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150ml (¼ pint) sunflower oil

For the icing:

  • 250g (9oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 2–3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
  • about 25g (1oz) walnut pieces, chopped

I’ve made this cake for my sister’s Maternity Leave Tea Party celebration tomorrow! Can’t wait to see how it has turned out! Birthday cake

9th February 2013 UPDATE: The cake was a real success – deliciously moist and full of flavour. It started the afternoon looking something like this…

IMG_1323Shortly after the guests arrived it looked something like this…

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And there is very little left to show for it! I definitely recommend this recipe for carrot cake lovers – the mascarpone icing is divine!

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Arguably the World’s Best Carrot & Coconut Cake…

A few good things happened this past Sunday. The snow drove me to finally sort my bedroom into order; it seems two days of snow is enough of a novelty for everyone! A quick trip to the gym to meet my sister for Pilates also occurred. On departing the gym, she gave me a chunk of a cake that she had made over the weekend for me to try. I happily made my way home, tucked into some dinner and then indulged in a slice of cake. The taste sensation caused an immediate text message to be sent to my aforementioned sister that went a little bit like this….: “I NEED the recipe for this cake. This icing is UNREAL!”

One email later and I was ready to get baking! The inclusion of (my beloved) coconut oil only excited me more!

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Credit to the blogger whose creation it is based on (Poires au Chocolat), but The Cake Hunter has taken this to a whole, new, coconutty level of wonder! I have amended it only slightly from my sister’s reflections of her own delicious version.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 eggs
  • 170g plain flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 100g coconut oil, solid
  • 170g light brown sugar
  • 50g walnut pieces
  • 30g desiccated coconut

For the icing:

  • 100g coconut oil
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Desiccated coconut, to decorate

Method

  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin and set aside. In a clean, dry bowl, separate the eggs, putting the egg whites into the clean bowl (to be whipped later) and the yolks into a cup.
  2. Beat the coconut oil and brown sugar with a stand mixer (or handheld electric mixer) and beat on medium until pale and fluffy (I found using the solid coconut oil quite difficult, so think that softening it slightly before combining with the sugar would be helpful).
  3. Add the yolks one by one, beating well and scraping down in between each addition.
  4. Tip in the grated carrot, nutmeg, cinnamon, walnuts and dessicated coconut and fold together.                                                                  IMG_1192
  5. Whip your egg whites until they hold stiff peaks (don’t overdo it, it won’t be as firm as meringue).
  6. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and fold half into the carrot mix, carefully but thoroughly, scraping the sides and bottom. Add half of the whipped egg whites and fold them in, followed by the rest of the flour, then the rest of the egg whites. Carefully make sure it is evenly combined. Pour into the loaf tin and level out the top.

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7. Bake for about 40 minutes until a skewer comes out cleanly from the middle. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then remove from the tin and leave to cool.

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8. To make the icing, melt the coconut oil down over a low heat, allow to cool for a while then add the icing sugar and mix. Add the water and mix again until smooth. Spread the icing over the top of the cake with a palette knife and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

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The addition of some ground nutmeg and cinnamon really enhances the carrot flavour, which otherwise can be slightly overpowered by the coconut. This cake makes a perfect accompaniment to a good cup of tea. The use of coconut oil is both novel and brilliant – if you’ve not used it before, I highly recommend it as a staple ingredient in your cupboards. Its reported health benefits cannot be ignored either; win, win!

February 2012: Edinburgh Vet School Cake Competition!

The time for the 2013 Vet School cake competition is coming…. and so I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on what I created in 2012 to take 1st place 🙂

My 2012 entry!

Each animal was made up of different shape cakes made up using a vanilla sponge cake mix, baked in various size tins. The heads of the sheep and the highland cow are also made from a small round sponge. The head of the hedgehog is sculpted from ready coloured brown fondant incing. I covered the sheep in butter icing and then mini white marshmallows. I covered the hedgehog in giant milk chocolate buttons and the cow in chocolate butter icing piped in a random highland cow like way!

Currently trying to think of an even more exciting entry for February 2013…. any ideas please do share 🙂