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Jo’s Carrot Cake
By Pump Street Bakery

Serves 12

For the sponges:
265g plain flour
3tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
½tsp cloves
½tsp nutmeg
1tsp salt
a pinch of mace
a pinch of ginger
150g light brown muscovado sugar
130g golden caster sugar
150ml vegetable oil
75g butter (at room temperature)
3 large eggs (at room temperature)
300g finely grated carrot
zest of ½ an orange
75g chopped toasted hazelnuts
For the icing:
100g butter (at room temperature)
200g full fat cream cheese (at room temperature)
500g icing sugar (Tate and Lyle by preference)
zest of 1 lemon
50 g of mixed toasted seeds (sesame, sunflower and pumpkin) or chopped toasted hazelnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C. Butter and line three 8 inch cake tins.
  2. Mix dry ingredients and put aside.
  3. In a standing mixer combine the oil and butter, then add the sugar and whisk until light, smooth, creamy and opaque.
  4. Add the eggs then whip again until the mixture begins to look almost meringue-like.
  5. Mix in the grated carrot and the hazelnuts.
  6. Then fold in the flour until you can no longer see dry flour and the mixture is uniform, but only just.
  7. Divide the mixture between the three baking tins and even out the surface gently.
  8. Bake at 160 C for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the cakes are pulling away from the sides of the tins.
  9. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  10. Meanwhile, make the icing by first mixing the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and glossy, then mixing in the icing sugar in two batches and then the lemon zest. Whip for a minute on high to add some air.
  11. Spread a small amount of icing between the layers of cake when sandwiching them, then use a small amount of icing to make a crumb layer on the exterior of the cake.
  12. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  
  13. Rewhip the icing, loosening with a bit of milk or cream if necessary, and ice the top and sides with the final coat of icing.
  14. Make a ring of seeds or hazelnuts about 2 cm in from the edge of the cake on the top.
  15. Eat immediately or keep refrigerated up to 24 hours – bring to room temperature before serving.

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