CARROT, PECAN AND WALNUT CELEBRATION CAKE WITH ORANGE AND CREAM CHEESE ICING

I love baking, someone reminded me a while back we’re not all the same. I had been told for years I needed to meditate, to read, to do a whole host of things, but we all have different ways of living life. Me, I love to cook. You know the way they (whoever ‘they’ are) tell you to live in the moment, well for me I couldn’t be more in the moment than when cooking.

I know yea I cook all the time for work but I just love when I get to come up with recipes and cook at my own pace to really enjoy being in the kitchen. So here’s something I created a little while back for my mother dearest.

+ by the way…the floral bunting is not optional.

For the cakes;
300g butter
300g light brown sugar
250g self raising flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
half tsp mixed spice
50g ground almonds
6 eggs
50g pecans, roughly chopped
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
250g carrot, peeled and grated

For the icing:
100g butter
100g cream cheese
350g icing sugar
zest of 1 orange

To serve:
50g sugar
50g pumpkin seeds
candles
floral bunting (essential)

Preheat oven to 160 fan. Grease and line the base of 4 6” sandwich tins and place on two large baking trays (two per tray, this just makes it easier to move them in and out of the oven).
Beat the butter and sugar in a stand alone mixer until light in colour and increased in size. Add the flour, baking powder, spices and ground almonds to a bowl and add the to the mixer alternatively with the eggs until they are both use up, mix through the nuts and grated carrot. divide between the prepared tins and spread out evenly. Place in the oven to cook for 30 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. 

While they are cooking add the cream cheese, butter, sugar and orange zest to a stand alone mixer and beat until super smooth! refrigerate until ready to use. 

Place the sugar along with 1 tablespoon of water in a small saucepan and heat until golden and a caramel colour, add the pumpkin seeds to this and stir until coated, turn out onto a  tray lined with parchment and leave to harden. 

Once the cakes have cooled and are ready to assemble remove the icing from the fridge. place a dollop on your cake stand first and then put a quarter of the mix onto three of the layers, spread out slightly and evenly and stack on the stand, top with the final layer and then using the remainder of the icing put it on the top of the cake and spread down the sides to evenly coat. Chop up the brittle and sprinkle on the top of the cake. 

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