Clodagh McKenna‏, My Carrot Cake with Orange Blossom frosting recipe

Makes 1 Cake (10 portions)

INGREDIENTS:

3 eggs

140ml/5floz vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing

220/7oz light brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

350g/12oz grated carrots, (grated weight)

100g/3½ oz golden raisins

100g/3½ oz walnuts, chopped

200g/7oz self-raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the orange blossom frosting 

300g/10½ oz cream cheese, chilled

70g/2½ oz butter, at room temperature

300g/10½ oz icing sugar, sifted

1 orange, zest only

2 teaspoons of orange blossom water

METHOD:

1.          Preheat the oven to 180°C and oil and line a 13 x 23cm loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2.        For the carrot cake: beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, grated carrot, raisins and chopped walnuts.

3.        Sift in the rest of the dry ingredients and bring the mixture together using a wooden or large metal spoon until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the surface and bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If you’re using a ceramic baking dish then you’ll need to add 15 minutes to the cooking time.

4.       Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin for about five minutes before removing. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

5.        For the orange blossom frosting: beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until well combined. Add the icing sugar, orange blossom water and finely grated orange zest and mix until the frosting is smooth and thick. Using a palette knife, spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake, dipping the knife into a bowl of hot water if the icing is hard to spread out.

6.       Decorate with orange zest on top of the frosting.

@clodaghmckenna’s Orange Pistachio Yogurt Cake

clodagh orange pistachio

Yields 8 Servings
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins

This is one of my favourite cakes at this time of the year. It’s a much needed burst of sunshine. Deliciously light, and moist due to the natural Irish yogurt. You can make a gluten free version by simply using gluten free breadcrumbs. You can substitute the pistachios with hazelnuts, roast the hazelnuts before you add them to the cake, it enhances their flavour. It will last for one week, but not sure you will have any left for to test me on that!

To serve:

Decorate with 50g roughly chopped pistachios and the zest of one lemon on top. Serve with a dollop of natural Irish yogurt

Ingredients checklist
50 g slightly stale white breadcrumbs
100 g almonds, ground
100 g pistachios
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
150 g caster sugar
125 ml sunflower oil
200 ml natural Irish yogurt
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
Ingredients checklist for the citrus syrup
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C / Gas 5.

Grease a 20.5cm (8in) round and 5cm (2in) deep tin and then lightly dust with flour.

In a large bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, almonds, pistachios and baking powder.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs with the caster sugar. Continue to whisk while pouring in the vegetable oil, followed by the natural Irish yogurt.

 

Next stir the liquid pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the orange and lemon zest.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and into the pre-heated oven.

 

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the cake is golden brown. To ensure cake is done, insert a skewer into the center – if it’s ready, the skewer should come out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a plate.

 

Meanwhile, make the citrus syrup. Put all of the ingredients into a saucepan and bring gently to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved completely. Simmer for 10 minutes or until thick.

 

While the cake is still warm, pierce it several times with a skewer, then spoon the hot syrup over the cake, allowing it to run into the holes. Leave to cool. Spoon any excess syrup back over the cake every now and then until it is all soaked up.

 

Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top, and the zest of one orange. Serve with natural Irish yogurt

Clodagh’s orange pistachio yogurt cake