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Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Cream


Why does this feel "right" to make around Easter, I don't know! It must be the bunny connection...
I'm not usually fond of carrot cakes because they tend to be dry; this one is soft and packs a crunch because of the chopped pecans. And then off course, there is Mascarpone, sweet, fluffy cream involved...

For the cake:
200gr ground carrots 
3/4 Cup of caster sugar 
2 large eggs
250ml Olive oil
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice (or whack some cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg with the pestle and mortar) 
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans or hazelnuts
1 lemon, just the zest
3 tablespoons sultanas

Mascarpone Cream:
250gr Mascarpone 
250ml Double Cream
3 tablespoons icing sugar

Start with washing, peeling and grating the carrots.
Butter two cake tins and line them with baking paper. Put the oven on to 180C.
In a bowl whisk together the sugar and eggs and drizzle in the olive oil slowly.
Combine the flour with the mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda and add it to the sugar and eggs mixture.
Use the whisk to get use of big flour lumps and then carry on with a spatula until you have a smooth batter.
Add in the chopped pecans, sultanas, lemon jest and grated carrots. Keep folding the ingredients into the mixture until they are all distributed evenly.
Bake for 35- 40 minutes in 180C. Use a toothpick to check if the middle is cooked throughout.
Take the cakes out of the oven and let them cool down while you prepare the filling.

Whisk together the mascarpone, double cream and icing sugar until you have a uniformly smooth cream.
Lay the first sponge on a serving platter, cover with half of the mascarpone cream, layer the second cake on top of the first and cover generously with the rest of the cream.
If the individual cakes are quite plump, you can always slice them along in halves and have four cake layers instead of two. Use less of the cream on each layer and rest assured that it makes quite an impression when you cut it through!

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