California Carrot Cake with Rum Raisins and Pineapple
Ingredients for the cake
|175g||Dark soft brown sugar|
|3tsp||Cinnamon/speculaas spice mix|
|1tsp||Bicarbonate of soda|
Ingredients for the icing
|250g||Unsalted butter, softened|
|250g||Full fat cream cheese|
- Dried pineapple chunks
- Toasted flaked almonds (optional)
- Pineapple flowers (optional)
- California raisins (optional)
How it’s Done
Preheat oven to 170°C/Gas 3
|1||In advance, soak the California raisins in the rum, preferably overnight, or at least a few hours.|
|2||Preheat oven to 170°C/Gas 3.|
|3||Whisk the sugar, eggs and oil in a large bowl (about 2-3 minutes).|
|4||Sift in the flour, spice and bicarbonate of soda – fold in gently.|
|5||Add the carrots, ground almonds and pineapple.|
|6||Drain the California raisins (keep the rum!) – add the California raisins to the mixture with 1 tbsp of the rum.|
|7||Divide the batter between your tins and bake for 30 minutes, until springy in the centre.|
|8||Cool in the tins.|
|9||Cream the butter in a stand mixer for a good 5 minutes. Add the rum and mix again.|
|10||Add half of the cream cheese, mix, add half the icing sugar, mix. Repeat.|
|11||Continue mixing for a few minutes to fully combine.|
|12||Once sponges are cooled, place one on a plate or cake stand. Spread half the icing over it (optional: scatter some dried pineapple over the icing). Position the other sponge on top and spread with the remaining icing.
To decorate, simply scatter the dried pineapple chunks all over; you could add a handful of toasted flaked almonds, too, if desired, with a few California raisins dotted around.
* For something more flamboyant, you could decorate with some pineapple flowers: Preheat oven to 225°C/Gas ¼. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Peel a pineapple. Using a small melon baller or a sharp knife, remove and discard the ‘eyes.’ Slice pineapple very thinly and place slices on baking sheets.
Cook until tops look dried, about 30 minutes. Flip slices; cook until completely dried, 25 to 30 minutes more. Transfer to an empty muffin tray to dry in flower shapes or cool on a wire rack.