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Carrot Cake with Vanilla Bean Icing

Carrot Cake with Vanilla Bean Icing

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For the carrot cake:
9 oz.260 g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup230 g and 2 tablespoons superfine sugar (also known as golden caster sugar in UK)
4 eggs, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 1/4 cups250 g self-raising flour
3 cups150 g carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
1/2 cup85 g tinned pineapple, roughly chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/3 cup60 g sultanas (also known as seedless white raisins)
1 cup100 g pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 cup55 g pecans or walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped 

For the lemon and vanilla syrup:
1/4 cup50 g unrefined muscovado sugar (also known as unrefined brown sugar)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract

For the vanilla cream cheese icing:
2 1/2 oz.70 g unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups450 g icing sugar, sifted
6.3 oz.180 g Philadelphia Original cream cheese
1 teaspoon1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste or Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract  

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F180 degrees C, fan 320 degrees F160 degrees C, gas 4. Grease and line 8-inch20-centimeter sandwich tins.

In a bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for a few minutes, or until light and fluffy. Gradually pour in the eggs and the vanilla extract, then add the flour and continue to mix for a minute. Fold in the carrot, pineapple, zest, mixed spice, sultanas raisins and nuts.

Divide the cake mixture equally between the two tins and flatten with a spatula. Bake on the middle shelf for 30-35 minutes, or until golden and a skewer comes away clean when inserted into the center of the cakes.

Meanwhile, make the lemon and vanilla syrup by heating the sugar and lemon together for a few minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn both cakes out on to a wire rack and brush the tops of the warm cakes with the syrup. Allow cooling while you make the icing.

Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla bean paste together into the bowl of a mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and continue to mix until you achieve a spreading consistency.

Sit one of the sponges on a plate or stand, and spread with half of the icing. Place the second sponge on top, and cover with the remaining icing. Decorate with more zest, chopped pistachios and edible flowers if you wish.

Preparation time: 35 minutes (plus cooling)
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves 8-10




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