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Carrot cake with mascarpone frosting and chai caramel

It’s the start of a new year and a new you. Yep – you’ve had enough of bland tasting food and want to push the boundaries of your taste buds until you reach those dizzying heights. Well, maybe not that high but you do want to try something new. How about a carrot cake that is infused with chai tea?

How long will it take?

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes

How many will it feed?

8-10 hungry people

What will I need?

For the cake:

  • 300g | 10.5oz soft light brown sugar
  • 300ml | 10fl oz rapeseed (canola) oil or melted coconut oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 300g | 10.5oz plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 300g | 10.5oz grated carrots (about 3 large)
  • 100g | 3.5oz pecans, roughly chopped
  • 100g | 3.5oz raisins or sultanas
  • 4 Twinings chai teabags
  • cinnamon’s sticks and cape gooseberries (physalis) to decorate

For the chai caramel:

  • 125ml | ½ cup chai tea (see above)
  • 200g | 7oz golden caster sugar
  • 125g | 4.4oz double cream, heated in microwave for 30 seconds
  • 125g | 4.4oz créme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp butter

Mascarpone frosting:

  • 500g | 1.1lbs full fat mascarpone
  • 200g | 7oz icing sugar
  • 100g | 3.5oz chai caramel
  • 3-5 tbsp double cream
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

How do I do it?

  1. Steep the chai teabags in 250ml (1 cup) boiling water for 10 minutes. Discard the teabags and add the raisins. Leave for a couple of hours or overnight until they are plump. Strain and keep the tea for making the caramel.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line 3x20cm/8in or 4x15cm/6in cake tins.
  3. Put the sugar, oil and eggs in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat for two minutes until the ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Sift the flour, spices, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a bowl. Gradually add to the mixing bowl while beating on medium-low speed. Increase the speed once everything has been added and beat for a minute.
  5. Stir in the grated carrot, pecans and raisins and divide the batter between the prepared cake tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cakes are springy to the touch and coming away from the edges of the tins. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a cooling rack.
  6. Make the caramel. Bring the tea and sugar to a boil in a deep sided saucepan. Continue to boil for several minutes until it reads 150 C (300 F) on a digital thermometer. Reduce heat slightly and when the caramel reaches 175 C (350 F) take it off the heat and add the double cream – be very careful it will bubble volcanically! When it calms down a bit add the créme fraiche and butter and mix together with a balloon whisk until smooth. Cook for a further five minutes over medium heat until it thickens slightly. Cool before using.
  7. To make the frosting, put the mascarpone, icing sugar and caramel in your stand mixer. Beat together on the lowest speed setting until combined and then increase the speed and gradually add the double cream. Beat until the frosting is smooth and forms firm peaks – won’t take long at all. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip.
  8. Pipe a generous layer of frosting over each cake layer, drizzle with a little caramel and sandwich together. Add frosting around the sides and top and smooth using a pastry scraper. Chill and add a second layer of frosting for a totally smooth effect.
  9. Pipe some caramel around the perimeter of the cake letting it drip down the sides. Decorate with cinnamon sticks and physalis (cape gooseberries).

Lets us know how you get on! #carrotcakewithatwist

I stumbled across this beauty of a recipe here and couldn’t resist but share.

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