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    Carrot, pecan and clove cake

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    Carrot, pecan and clove cake

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling

    Serves: 12

    Ingredients

    200ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
    4 large eggs
    1 orange (scrubbed), zest and juice
    265g plain flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    280g dark brown soft sugar
    ¾ tsp ground cloves
    ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    ½ tsp ground ginger
    ¼ tsp salt
    250g carrots, grated
    100g pecans, chopped

    Icing
    100g slightly salted butter, softened
    100g icing sugar
    3 tbsp maple syrup
    pinch ground cloves
    250g soft cheese

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Grease 2 x 20cm loose-based cake tins with oil and line the bases with baking parchment. In a large bowl, lightly beat together the oil, eggs and orange zest and juice. Sieve in the flour, then add the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, spices and salt; gently fold through. Stir in the carrots and most of the pecans, reserving some to decorate.

    2. Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middles comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

    3. Make the icing. Use electric beaters to beat the butter until pale and smooth. Add the icing sugar, maple syrup, cloves and soft cheese and beat again until combined. Once the cake has cooled, use the icing to sandwich the cake together and also to ice its top. Decorate with the reserved pecans. 

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