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I’ve titled this post “my perfect carrot cake” as I think that carrot is one of those cakes, perhaps more than any other, that everyone likes just so. I’ve developed this recipe over many attempts and now this, for me, is pretty near perfection – moist, textured and full of flavour yet still light and crumbly. The filling is much less sweet than butter icing and really complements the spicy flavours. The ingredients list looks a little daunting but putting the cake together is such a doddle so don’t worry.

Carrot Cake

300ml Sunflower Oil
300g Light Muscavado Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1tsp Vanilla Extract
300g Grated Carrots
50g Walnut Pieces
50g Dessicated Coconut
200g Plain Flour
100g Ground Almonds
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Filling

200ml Double Cream
100g Cream Cheese
50g Icing Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract/ 1 Grated Zest of Orange

How to….

1. Put the oil, sugar, eggs, spices and vanilla in a mixer and beat until well incorporated.
2. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.
3. Pour into two lined and greased 10 inch tins and bake at gas mark 5, 190c, 375f for 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes as I find ovens do vary. The cake should be a lovely dark golden colour and fairly springy to touch.
4. Remove from the tins carefully and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. To make the cloudy filling whisk the cream, icing sugar and vanilla or orange together until soft peaks form. Add in the cream cheese and mix in well. The mixture should be light and soft but hold its shape well.
6. When the cakes are cool, put one on a stand or plate and pile on the filling smoothing it to the edges. Put the other cake on the top and voila!

Maybe not the most pretty of cakes but I always feel that the flavours and textures do all the talking here, you don’t need to add frills to something this tasty and it’s always one of the most popular cakes in the Cafe. Enjoy!

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Well, what a weekend! The bunting went up and the rain came down as Britain celebrated 60 years on the throne for our Majesty The Queen. We tried to do our part here in the Cafe with scrumptious little tarts generously filled with a cloud like lemon curd, double cream and mascarpone mixture and topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and glazed with our homemade strawberry jam. They went down well with kids and adults alike. We also topped our rich iced fruit cake with a rather royal scene (as seen in the picture). Personally, I’m not particularly inclined to be anti or pro royalist but I have to say the tremendous amount of local and nation wide events and the lengths that people went to to celebrate the occasion was inspiring and in a time of such uncertainty for our country and it’s people it was heart warming to witness such immense community spirit.

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