Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Carrot cake with citrus fudge icing

I made this cake from the Australian Women's Weekly collection, and got rave reviews. It was being eaten so fast that Steve nearly missed out, being away until four days after baking. He ate the last slice with gusto, and made the comment, with a slightly surprised tone that did not go down well with the cook, that it looked really professional.

This cake was easy to make and behaved beautifully in the oven, despite my managing to misread the recipe and add the sugar with the flour. I like a forgiving recipe, one that can take a bit of stupidity in the cooking and still turn out well. My review of the recipe other than this is that it needed more spice. I know my mixed spice is quite fresh, so I will bake it again to see if adding more makes it perfect. The other thing that might improve it, but is likely to be harder to manage is that it may well be better if it sits for at least a day. That kind of thing requires hiding places for cakes, and even those who can't  find their proverbial with both hands seem to have an innate skill at hunting down cake.

I used the fudge icing recipe I always use, substituting juice for milk. The trick is to stir the zest into the icing sugar, then add the hot melted butter, beating all the time, then add the hot juice in a slow stream, beating like mad, to make sure the juice is mixed in thoroughly with the butter sugar mixture. If you do get lumps use a hand blender to get rid of them. The alternative is too boring.  A wooden spoon in a two litre jug is my preferred approach. The icing may become liquid. Sit it in cold water then refrigerate, beating it again before spreading it over the cake.

So give this a go, because it is a lovely cake.

Citrus fudge icing

This is enough for the top or the middle of a 9" cake

250g icing sugar
75g unsalted butter
3 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange

  1. finely grate the zest
  2. sift icing sugar into bowl with the zest
  3. cut the butter into thin slices and heat slowly, until completely melted - do not boil
  4. pour hot melted butter into the sifted icing sugar, beating as you pour, until it is all taken up by the sugar
  5. heat the juice in the pan (I use the same pan... without washing)
  6. pour the hot juice into the sugar/butter mixture, beating as you pour, until it is one silky mixture
  7. let the icing cool until it stiffens, beating it again before using it

  • to apply the icing to the cake have a tall mug full of freshly boiled water, use a palette knife or a large knife
  • spread the icing quickly, spreading it with the hot knife - as soon as the icing starts to drag on the knife, clean off the remaining icing and dip it into the hot water again
  • continue until the icing is applied

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