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Carrot cake with lime mascarpone icing

I don't don't like to turn up empty handed when I visit friends and find that they always appreciate something freshly baked and sweet. One particularly popular treat is this carrot cake recipe from Jamie Oliver. I've baked a good few carrot cakes in my time - but this one is a cut above the rest - probably because of the fantastically creamy and zingy icing.

• 250g unsalted butter, softened
• 250g light brown soft sugar
• 5 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic, separated
• zest and juice of 1 orange
• 170g self-raising flour, sifted
• 1 slightly heaped teaspoon baking powder
• 100g ground almonds
• 100g shelled walnuts, chopped, plus a handful for serving
• 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
• a pinch of ground cloves
• a pinch of ground nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon ground ginger
• 250g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
sea salt

for the lime mascarpone icing:
• 100g mascarpone cheese
• 200g full-fat cream cheese
• 85g icing sugar, sifted
• zest and juice of 2 limes

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease and line a 22cm square cake tin or a round equivalent with greaseproof paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one by one, and add the orange zest and juice. Stir in the sifted flour and baking powder, and add the ground almonds, walnuts, spices and grated carrot and mix together well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then gently fold them into the cake mix. Scoop the mixture into the prepared cake tin and cook in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes until golden and risen. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a rack and leave for at least an hour.

Mix all the icing ingredients together and spread generously over the top of the cake. Finish off with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.

• from Cook With Jamie - Fly at a Smile-Price