I’ve learned a little bit about food photography since I started blogging just over 3 years ago. Not a lot, but enough for what I want to do. A lot of my older photographs really make me cringe but none more than the ones in my Carrot Cake post from way back in January 2011! It’s dark, smudged and just plain awful but it also happens to be my most popular post! I mentioned on twitter a long time ago that I’d like to re-do some of my old pictures but didn’t want to bake everything all over again just for the sake of it so nothing has been done. Until now. Or rather a few months ago…
Some friends of ours came over for lunch (and cake!) absolutely ages ago and while I painstakingly decorated a carrot cake, they waited very patiently. Then they had to wait even more patiently while I photographed the cake. There were quite a few quizzical looks let me tell you as no one outside the house has ever seen me in blog mode (most of the people I know in real life still don’t actually know that I blog at all!) Of course at this stage my kids think it’s totally normal to take pictures of everything before it’s eaten. Not sure if that’s a good thing…
Anyway, this carrot cake is from the Hummingbird Bakery book and while the pictures are still far from amazing, it tastes (if I do say so myself) DELICIOUS and is so easy to make, I don’t know why I don’t make it more often!
300g soft light brown sugar
300ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon (plus extra to decorate)
1/2tsp ground ginger
1/4tsp vanilla extract
300g carrots, grated
100g shelled walnuts, chopped (plus extra chopped and whole to decorate)
For The Cream Cheese Frosting:
600g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter (at room temp)
250g cream cheese, cold
Three 20cm cake tins (base lined with greaseproof paper)
Preheat the oven to 170ºC (325ºF)
Mix the sugar, eggs and oil together in a stand mixer making sure they are incorporated well (hand mixer will work just as well, as I’m sure would a food processor)
Gradually add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract.
Stir in the walnuts and grated carrots until they are evenly distributed (stir these in by hand – not with the mixer)
Pour the mixture into pre prepared tins, bake in the oven 170ºC for 20-25 minutes then allow to cool on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting Method:
Beat the icing sugar and butter in a stand mixer.
Add the cream cheese (in one go) and bet until completely incorporated.
Continue beating on medium-high speed for about 5 mins taking care not to over beat as it can become runny quite quickly.
Assembling the Cake
When the cakes are cold, place one on a cake stand and spread about a quarter of the frosting over it.
Place the second tier on top and spread another quarter of frosting over it.
Top with the last cake. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Finish decorating with walnuts and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.