carrot cake 紅蘿蔔蛋糕

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Happy Birthday M.. let’s do a shout out for my best friend. I’ve made this for her, all my first time… first try on the recipe, first try on this decoration style and it all turned out great! All the hard work is worth it in the end, esp. going to John Lewis to get the 3 sponge tins… but funny enough I ran out of greaseproof paper too! hhaa… there’s always something!

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Hummingbird Bakery Carrot Cake
*Just a note, the instruction below has a bit of my own baking tips and preferred method used.

260g soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
300ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
300g carrots, grated
Zest of half an orange
100g shelled walnuts, chopped

For the icing
*same ratio as Hummingbird’s one but I had 300g creamcheese pack, so didn’t want to left with 50g of cheese and do nothing with it!
720g icing sugar
120g butter, at room temperature
300g cream cheese, cold

Preheat the oven to 170C, gas mark 3.
Prepare 3 x 20cm sponge tin (I got mine from John Lewis value brand sponge tin @ GBP3.50 each! Used the JL voucher i got from work yay!), grease the tin with butter and lined the bottom with a greaseproof paper.

Mix together the sugar, eggs and oil using your mixer, ideally in one of those freestanding on with the metal/felxi paddle attachment and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed. You will now see somewhat very oily brown looking mixture! pour in the vanilla extract, mix well. Throw in the orange zest, mix. Then sift in half of the powder ingredients –  plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt continue to beat until okay well, then sift in the rest of the flour ingredients and mix fully well.

Take out of the mixing bowl from the mixer, and stir in the grated carrots and walnuts by hand. Pour into the prepared cake tins and smooth over. Make sure you weight each tin so that they can get idential gram. This ensures all the cakes are baked evenly.  Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. If you putting two sponges tin on top and one at the bottom, make sure you change this half way through. so the bottom sponge will get an even bake. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, beat the butter and some of the icing sugar first, then add the rest and mix well until crumbs a like. Add the cream cheese in one go, then beat again until well mixed. Turn the speed to high and continue to beat until light and fluffy this takes about 5 minutes maximum! Do not overbeat it as the mixture will turn runny.

To assemble, preview the cake and see what gives you an even cake top, then spead a thin layer of icing on the cake, place the middle cake on top, spread some more icing and place the top cake on. Mostly you will realise its better to turn the last cake upside down so you can get even smooth surface. And spread the remaining icing over the top and sides thinly and fill gaps inbetween the cakes, this is crumb coat. Fridge it for a short while to firm up the icing before decoration. I had to freeze mine for 5 mins!!
Using a pipping bag and a round nozzle and pipe 5 balls in a line, using a palette knife and smooth out onto the right, then pipe five balls out again over when you have smoothed out and smooth out… repeat until you reach the last space where you will just need to pipe five balls. Same applies on the surface…

I was really going to do some writing on the cake but lack colour gel… nvm. still great right? and wish i have the time to do a proper photoshoot of this cake if i didnt have to leave on time….!!!

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