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Bake Off! Round 3 - Moist Hawaiian Carrot Cake

As expected, the office has gone Bake Off crazy, with Mary and Paul gracing our screens to commence a sixth series: yippee!

Getting in the spirit, a friendly competition has begun, seeing the hidden baking talents of the office unveiled and not so talented potentially being ridiculed by their peers..

Each week Perfect Cellar will be giving you exclusive access to the recipes of the winning bakers! We’ll also pair these delicious treats with a recommended vino for you to make and pair from the comfort of your home.

Week 3! and the competition is heating up with gooey Millionaire's Shortbread and moist Hawaiian Carrot Cake being served up in the office. Both bakes saw the team running back for a second helping but it was Neusha's Carrot Cake with a Hawaiian twist of pineapple that took the biscuit on the first day of Autumn.

 

This super-moist, autumn-spice pineapple-carrot cake is filled and frosted with sweet and rich coconut cream cheese icing. We've paired this scrummy creation with another sweet treat from Mas Amiel, their 2013 Muscat. This is a delicate and fragrant dessert wine with fresh orange marmalade and elderflower flavours, what a delight!

 

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 cup (240 ml) chopped canned pineapple
    • 4 cups (1 L) grated carrot
    • 2-1/2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon (14 g) baking powder
    • 2 teaspoon (10 g) baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon (7 g) salt
    • 2 teaspoons (10 g) cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon (5 g) nutmeg
    • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1-1/4 cups (250 g) golden brown sugar
    • 4 eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
For the Icing:
  • 2 pkgs (250 g each) regular cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) sour cream or natural yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups (315 g) icing sugar
  • 1 cup (75 g) sweetened flaked coconut

 

METHOD

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray or oil two 9-inch round cake pans.
    2. Finely chop drained pineapple, place in a sieve and press with a spoon to remove as much juice as possible. Grate carrots using a food processor. Measure out 4 cups and set aside.
    3. Place flour in a large bowl. Sprinkle with baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until blended.
    4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar, then beat on medium for about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, then vanilla.
    5. Beating on low speed, add about a third of flour mixture and beat just until mixed, followed by half the milk. Repeat additions, ending with flour. Batter will be very thick. Gradually mix in pineapple and carrots.
    6. Divide between prepared pans and smooth with a small offset spatula. To remove air pockets, bang pans on counter 5 to 6 times. Bake until centers seem set when lightly tapped, about 40 to 45 minutes. Place on a baking rack to cool. After about 15 minutes, turn cakes out of pans and cool completely on racks. It’s best to bake cakes a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight.
For the Icing:
    1. Cut cream cheese into chunks. Place butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and beat in cream cheese, piece by piece. Beating too much will cause thinning. Add about a third of the icing sugar and beat on low until just mixed in. Scrape sides of bowl and beaters occasionally.
    2. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating just until smooth. If too thick or thin, work in a little sour cream or sugar. Remove about a quarter of the icing to be used on top cake layer and set aside. Stir coconut into the remaining icing.

 

TO ASSEMBLE
  1. Slice cakes horizontally in half. Place top of 1 cake, dome-side down, on a platter. Spread with a third of the coconut icing leaving a narrow border of cake around edge.
  2. Lay the bottom of that cake, cut-side down, on top. Spread with half the remaining coconut icing, leaving a narrow cake border. Top with the bottom half of the second cake, cut-side down. Spread with the remaining coconut icing, leaving a cake border.
  3. Top with the final layer, cut-side down. Spread with plain icing right to the edges. Garnish with toasted, fresh coconut. Best to refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

You can find the full recipe on Sweetapolita’s website 

Happy Baking!

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