Carrot cake – seventh time’s a charm

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This classic – the carrot cake – is simple to make, full of sweetness, spices and walnuts, and covered with a glorious cream cheese icing. I’ve been making it since I was about twenty (a very long time) so why it took me seven goes to get it cooked and photographed and onto this blog is beyond me! If you want to read this sad and sorry tale of food blogging then head to the bottom of this post. Otherwise, forge ahead, make this toothsome concoction for your family, friends or workmates, and enjoy their smiles of satisfaction.

Makes a 20 cm round cake, and serves 8 – 12

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 lemon
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (make it gluten free by substituting gluten free flour – it works well))
1 teaspoon grated cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
pinch salt
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
1 medium sized banana, mashed
250 g cream cheese
3/4 cup icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 20 cm round cake tin and line the base with silicon paper. In a large mixing bowl combine the brown sugar, grated rind of the lemon, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, grated carrot and walnuts. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and mashed banana and then combine with the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Spoon into the cake tin and smooth the top. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed and a skewer, gently inserted into the middle of the cake and removed, comes out clean. Turn out of the cake tin and cool on a wire rack. When completely cold, ice with the cream cheese icing. Keeps for 3 days in an airtight container.

To make the icing beat together the cream cheese, the juice of the lemon and the icing sugar, until thick and glossy.

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The cook, the cake, her blog and her disasters
First attempt: Recipe testing – looks good, tastes good, family eats cake.
Second attempt: Bake cake, ice cake, get ready to photograph cake, it rains, family eats cake.
Third attempt: Bake cake, realise plain instead of self raising flour used, cake is actually pudding, family try to eat cake but can’t, dog eats cake.
Fourth attempt: Bake cakes in muffin tin in hope of good result, forget they were in the oven, burn cakes, throw cakes away.
Fifth attempt: Bake cake, cake sticks to bottom of tin, cake collapses, cook despairs, family eats cake.
Sixth attempt: Bake cake, ice cake, take photos, bad photos, cook rages, family eats cake.
Seventh time’s a charm: Bake cake, ice cake, take photos, photos OK, cook writes blog post, family eats cake, family vows not to eat carrot cake again.