Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Carrot and Pistachio cake with Orange Mascarpone Icing

When is a carrot cake not a carrot cake? This version is an entirely different animal from it's more traditional namesake. In fact it's an absolute beast of a cake, with buttery pistachios and the seductive, romantic fragrance of orange blossom water. Not so much moist, but melt in the mouth, the velvety sponge is covered generously with a sweet, silky and citrussy mascarpone icing, then finally scattered with more pistachios and orange zest. If bland and boring is what you are looking for then this one isn't for you, but if like myself you crave the extraordinary then prepare yourself accordingly, as the fun is about to begin...

Prep time: 20 Minutes + 30 Minutes for the icing
Baking time: 50-55 Minutes
200g Shelled Pistachios
200g Light Muscovado Sugar
125g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
200ml Vegetable Oil
1.5tsp Orange Blossom Water
3 Large Eggs (Beaten)
300g Carrots (Peeled and grated)

For the icing
250g Mascarpone Cheese
150g Icing Sugar (Sifted)
The juice of 1 Large Orange
75g Shelled Pistachios (Chopped)
Zest of 2 Large Oranges

We begin as we often do, by preheating the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, greasing a 21cm square baking tin and lining it with baking paper. Roughly chop 100g of the pistachios and set to one side. Take the other 100g and grind as finely as you can, then mix in a large bowl together with the sugar, flour and baking powder. Pour in the vegetable oil along with the orange blossom water and eggs, then beat to a smooth batter. Fold through the grated carrot and the 100g of pistachios you chopped earlier, then pour the batter into your prepared tin. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the cake. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set to one side for 30 minutes, then carefully remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the icing, beat together the cheese, icing sugar and orange juice until smooth, then cover and leave in the fridge for around 30 minutes to firm up slightly. Spread the cold icing all over the top of the cooled cake and finish by scattering over the 75g of chopped pistachios and orange zest. Time to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labour!

No comments:

Post a Comment