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  • Carrot Cake

    Until you put the topping on this tasty, moist carrot cake, you can almost kid yourself that the carrots and raisins make it really good for you. But then comes loads of delicious cream cheese

    Serves: 8
    For the carrot cake:
    175g (6oz) wholemeal self-raising flour
    1 level tsp baking powder
    1 level tsp ground mixed spice
    Pinch of salt
    150ml (1/4 pint) sunflower oil
    175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar
    3 medium eggs
    100g (3 1/2oz) raisins
    250g (8oz) carrots, peeled and grated
    For the carrot cake topping:
    200g (7oz) cream cheese
    Few drops vanilla extract
    3-4 level tbsp icing sugar
    Orange and green food colouring
    1. To make the carrot cake, tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the baking powder, spice and salt. Then stir in all the remaining ingredients until well mixed. Pour the mixture into a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin, buttered and lined with a strip of baking parchment.
    2. Bake in centre of oven at 180u00b0C/350u00b0F/gas 4 for about 1 hour, until just firm to the touch in the centre. A skewer should come out clean after being inserted into the middle.
    3. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
    4. To make the topping, beat together the cream cheese and vanilla extract. Add icing sugar to taste.
    5. Colour a small amount of icing orange and a small amount green, and use to fill a disposable piping bag each. Spread the remaining uncoloured icing over the top of the cake.
    6. Cut the end off the bag with the orange icing to give a small hole, and pipe tapered zigzags, to resemble carrots. Cut the end off the green icing bag into a u2018Vu2019 shape and pipe leaves.
    Top tip: You can wrap the undecorated carrot cake in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost before icing.

    Posted on 19:29 on 18 April