Last week was the first week of The Weekly Bake-Off, a challenge to work through all 100 recipes in Mary Berry’s ’100 Cakes and Bakes’. Started by the fantastic @WeeklyBakeOff on Twitter, each Monday a new recipe is announced and participants have until the end of the week to try their hand at baking and sending in a photo. The great part is that you can drop in and out, taking part in some weeks and not in others (reflecting the busy lives that we all lead!). This bake-off is bringing together a small community on twitter and hopefully it will grow as the weeks progress.
So this week’s challenge was Carrot Cake, the yummy tea time treat which we all love (however we would probably never admit that it is one of our favourites!). The Mary Berry recipe is quick, easy and perfect for any skilled baker. Not to mention very delicious!
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g light muscovado sugar
50g walnut pieces (chopped)
100g carrots (grated)
2 bananas (as ripe as possible)
2 large eggs
150ml sunflower oil
250g mascarpone cheese
2-3 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp icing sugar (sifted)
25g walnut pieces (chopped) and 3 pieces to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4, and grease and line a cake tin (roughly 20cm/8 inches). Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and mix together until it is all combined. Pour the mixture into the tin and level the top with a spatula.
Bake for roughly 50-60 minutes, or until the cake is well risen and golden (and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean). Allow the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. To make the icing, put the mascarpone cheese in a small bowl and soften with a spatula. Add the vanilla extract, icing sugar and chopped walnuts and beat together. Spread evenly over the top of the cake and then place the remaining walnut pieces in the middle to decorate.
The iced cake should be stored in the fridge due to the icing, and keeps for around 3-4 days. There are a few small changes that I would make to this recipe (even though it is already perfect). Adding 2 bananas may be a little overbearing for some, so I will probably only add 1 banana next time. Also, the cake cooked in my oven within 40 minutes; this could have been due to my oven, however I would strongly recommend to keep checking the cake from around 35 minutes to ensure that it does not over cook.
This recipe proves why Mary Berry really is the queen of cakes, and it is great with a cup of tea - or at any time of the day as I have found out! Enjoy :)