Carrot Cake Cheesecake… Cake

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cx 11/06/2017

My friends and I have wanted to make this cake for ages. It is really several cakes piled into one glorious creation. The cheesecake centre is smooth and creamy against the spiced, nut studded carrot cake that is topped with a luxurious icing and even more nuts for beautiful texture and flavour. A real celebration cake!

The frosting makes enough to cover the entire cake generously however, I only covered the top of the cake and this was more than enough as the frosting is very sweet. I used the remaining frosting for a coffee and banana pecan cake which was really nice or you could just half the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CARROT CAKE LAYERS:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup muscovado sugar
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • ½-1 cup chopped pecans

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:

  • 16oz full fat cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz full fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:

  1. Prepare the cheesecake layer first. This can be done early in the day, or the night before. If freezing the cheesecake, can be stored 1-2 weeks in the freezer.
  2. Preheat oven to 160C. Using a large roasting pan, add 1 inch of hot water to the pan. Place it on the lower shelf of the oven. Allow it to preheat in the oven.
  3. Prepare an 8-inch spring-form pan by wrapping the bottom of the pan (outside) with a double layer of foil. Line the bottom (inside) with a circle of parchment paper.
  4. Beat cream cheese with granulated sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Add in salt and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Beat in sour cream and whipping cream, until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Pour into prepared 8-inch spring-form pan. Place pan in centre of preheated roasting pan in the oven, making sure to be careful not to spill water.
  6. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. There should still be a slight wobble in the centre. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on counter.
  7. When cooled, remove outside portion of the spring-form pan and place into the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight. If using within 24 hours, feel free to just refrigerate cheesecake (this is what I did).

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FOR THE CARROT CAKE LAYERS:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs until blended. Add in flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Beat for about 2 minutes. Stir in the grated carrots and pecans. Pour into prepared cake pans.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for ten minutes then remove from pans and cool completely.

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FOR THE FROSTING:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Beat with whisk attachment for 3 minutes. Add in sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and heavy cream. Beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Fold in chopped pecans.
  2. To assemble the cake, layer one layer of carrot cake. Add the cheesecake then top with second layer of carrot cake. Spread on the frosting on top and on the sides if you feel particularly decadent.
  3. Store in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. ENJOY!

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Root Vegetable Soup

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Screenshot_2016-07-28-07-24-38-1[1] 28/07/2016

The beauty with soup is that you can use whatever you have and pretty much always guarantee a satisfying, tasty meal. I’m not going to sit and tell you what variations you can try. Decide for yourself. Go crazy! This is a really simple, luxuriously smooth, thick and wholesome soup that is easily freezable and even tastes better the next day.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • ½ butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
  • ½ teaspoon each of dried thyme and rosemary
  • 1 litre hot chicken stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium low heat. Add the onion and garlic and gently sweat for 5 minutes until softened. Add the other vegetables, stir well and cover with the pan lid to sweat until beginning to soften. Stir occasionally.
  2. Add the dried herbs and the chicken stock and bring everything to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft when pricked with a knife.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour into a blender. Be careful with the hot liquid. A ladle might be useful so you don’t splash yourself. Blend the soup to a creamy velvety consistency. Be careful with the blender lid. You may need to hold the lid with a cloth to allow a little steam to escape.
  4. Season with black pepper and check the thickness of the soup. You may need to add more water to achieve the consistency you like.
  5. Pour back into the pan and heat through gently. Serve with lovely crusty bread and butter.

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