For those of you wanting an alternative to a chocolate treat this weekend…
This carrot cake is delicious. Full of flavour and who doesn’t like a marzipan carrot!
175ml vegetable oil, plus extra for the tin
75g natural yogurt
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
250g light muscovado sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ fresh nutmeg
, finely grated
200g carrots (about three), grated
100g sultanas or raisins
100g pistachios, finely chopped (or slivered if you can get them)
For the icing
100g slightly salted butter, softened
200g icing sugar
100g full-fat cream cheese
100g fondant icing or marzipan
orange food colouring
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Oil and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment.
Whisk the oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla in a jug. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg with a good pinch of salt in a bowl.
Squeeze any lumps of sugar through your fingers, shaking the bowl a few times to bring the lumps to the surface.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, along with the carrots, raisins and half the pistachios. Mix well to combine, then scrape into the tin.
Bake for 1 hr 10 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If any wet mixture clings to the skewer, return to the oven for 5 mins, then check again. Leave to cool in the tin.
To make the icing, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add half the cream cheese and beat again, then add the rest (adding it bit by bit prevents the icing from splitting).
Remove the cake from the tin and spread the icing thickly on top. Scatter with some of the remaining pistachios.
Dye the fondant or marzipan orange by kneading in a drop of food colouring. Roll into little carrot shapes, then use a skewer to make indentations and poke a few pistachios in to look like fronds.
Top the cake with the carrots, then serve.
Will keep in the fridge for up to five days (eat at room temperature).