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CARROT CAKE WITH CURAÇAO

 

Best of Modern British Cookery
by Sarah Freeman
The Curaçao isn't essential but just gives the cake that extra spark which makes it really special. It comes out of the oven a beautiful deep, brick orange: I would suggest sprinkling icing sugar over the top, but it seems a pity to hide its attractive colour. Although the cake is delicious when just baked, it is actually even better the next day, when the flavours have had time to develop. It is also a good idea to make the filling a day in advance, since it may leach a little liquid after being mixed.
Usually, large old carrots taste richer and sweeter than new ones; also, not infallibly but often, those grown organically have more flavour than ordinary ones.  Soften the butter by leaving it out of the refrigerator for several hours before use; it also helps to chop it into small pieces.
Cooking time is 1 hour 25 minutes.
For About 12


CAKE:

• 425 g (15 oz) old carrots, weighed after peeling (it is important to use the full, correct weight)
• 100 g (3½ oz) walnuts or walnut pieces
• 175 g (6 oz) butter
• 200 g (7 oz) caster sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 1 tablespoonful triple sec Curaçao
• 50 g (2 oz) raisins
• 1 flat teaspoonful cinnamon
• 175 g (6 oz) white unbleached organic self-raising flour
• 2 teaspoonsful bicarbonate of soda
• 1/3 nutmeg

FILLING:
• 1/2 lemon (for 1/2 tablespoonful lemon juice)
• 50 g (2 oz) icing sugar
• 250 g (9 oz) mascarpone
• 1 tablespoonful triple sec Curaçao
• 20-cm (8-inch) cake tin with a removable bottom


CAKE: Peel and finely grate the carrots. Coarsely chop the walnuts; don't. however, chop them too finely, as largish pieces of nut add character to the cake. Chop up the butter unless it is already chopped or very soft, and beat it to a cream with the sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time and continue beating until the mixture is as smooth and homogenous as you can make it (the water in the eggs will cause it to separate). Stir in first the Curaçao, then the raisins, walnut, and carrot.

Set the oven to 150°C, 300°F, Gas Mark 2. Grease the cake tin and line the base with cooking foil. Thoroughly mix the cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda with the flour; grate the nutmeg over them, and very thoroughly stir them into the egg and carrot mixture. Turn the mixture into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn it upside-down on a wire rack but leave it in the tin until it is cool. To take it out of the tin, turn it back the right way up, slide a knife round the edge, and place a plate over the top: then invert it and lift off the sides of the tin. Peel the foil from the base and either invert it again on to a second plate and wrap it in foil until the next day or store it overnight in a tin.

FILLING: Squeeze 1/2 tablespoonful lemon juice. Beat the sugar into the mascarpone, followed by the lemon juice and Curaçao. Put the filling into a bowl lined with kitchen paper to absorb surplus liquid, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 24 hours before use.

To fill the cake, slit it horizontally, using a sharp knife, and spread the filling evenly over the bottom half.
 

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