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Liam Charles’ recipe for a Mother’s Day carrot cake | The Sweet Spot | Food


When I first started to bake, my mum would talk about a famous carrot cake she was going to make me. To this day, she still hasn’t made it. I, on the other hand, have lost count of the number of carrot cakes I’ve made in that time … But, seeing as it’s Mother’s Day, I should give Mum a break: she may not have taught me how to make this super-moist, most excellent carrot cake, but she has taught me a lot about life.

‘Mum’s’ easy carrot cake

Prep 15 min
Cook 45 min
Serves 10

4 eggs
250ml vegetable oil
100g pumpkin puree
200g grated carrots
250g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g light muscovado sugar
100g raisins
½ tsp vanilla extract

For the maple-yoghurt topping
450g cream cheese
300g greek yoghurt
225g icing sugar
200ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp maple syrup

For the carrot crisp
2 carrots, washed
3 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ ground ginger

Heat the oven to 170C (160C fan)/350F/ gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm round cake tins with baking paper.

Break the eggs into a large bowl, whisk, then add the vegetable oil and whisk again. Add the pumpkin puree and carrots and whisk again, until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, the spices and bicarb, add the sugar, then tip in the raisins and stir again. Combine the dry and the wet ingredients, add the vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.

Divide the mixture between two tins, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Now make the carrot crisps. Using a peeler, shave the carrots into thin strips. Put in a bowl, drizzle with the oil and toss with the spices. Lay the carrot strips in two baking trays, making sure they do not overlap. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the tray halfway. Turn off the oven, open the door a crack and keep the trays in there for a further eight minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, until crisp.

For the filling, combine the cream cheese and yoghurt, lightly whip with an electric mixer, sift in the icing sugar, and beat until smooth. Add the double cream, beat again until it’s a spreadable and holdable consistency, then add the vanilla extract and maple syrup and beat again. Put a piece of clingfilm over the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. This mixture is going to sandwich your cake together.

To assemble, put one layer of cooled sponge on to a plate, cover with half the Greek yoghurt filling, then sandwich with the second sponge. Swoosh the remaining filling on top of the cake. Finally, scatter with the carrot crisps, and serve to your mum.

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