I’ve called this King carrot cake, not only because it’s absolutely massive, but because it features my Autumn King carrots – but really any type of carrot will do. The Philadelphia icing is absolutely devine also.
- 400ml olive oil
- 400g plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 500g caster sugar
- 5 beaten eggs
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 500g carrots, blitzed in a food processor or grated
For the Philadelphia icing cream
- 200g Philadelphia cream cheese
- 140g caster sugar
- 100g salted butter, softened
- Juice of half a lemon (optional)
1. First off, preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Grease and prepare a cake tin that’s over 26cm/10in square. Go large or go home people. I tend olive oil works better with keeping cakes moist better than sunflower or vegetable oil.
2. Mix together the olive oil, plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, caster sugar and ground cinnamon. Slow incorporate the beaten eggs into the mix.
3. Blitz your carrots in a food processor and stir the carrots into the batter.
4. Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake for 1.5 hour. If you insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and it comes out clean, it should be done. Remove from the oven and let cool.
For the cream icing
1. In a bowl mix together Philadelphia cream cheese, caster sugar, salted butter and lemon juice into a bowl and mix together until light and creamy.
2. Spread over the top of your carrot cake.
What a week it’s been weather wise, starting off with highs of up 18 degrees, only to be blown away toward the tail end of the week by storm Doris. To date, I’ve not managed to sow much into the ground or into pots this, but that’s because it’s been a bit too chilly. I’ve managed to make up for my lack of sowing this weekend by sowing spring onions, three types of carrots, two types of cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower and broad beans.
On top of the seeds that I’ve purchased especially for my victory garden, I’ve got stacks of half full packets of seeds in the back of the shed that I’m going to be growing – waste not! Some of the seeds might not even germinate if they’re old or past their use by date, but I figure, what have I got to lose? Nothing really.
Among the packets of seeds is Autumn King Carrots – a well known, grown and reliable variety. Autumn King holds and RHS Garden Merit Award, meaning that these plants will perform well under UK conditions. I’m hoping to harvest these carrots from late summer onward, but I’ve been reassured that these can also be left in the ground over winter without the risk of them swelling or splitting in the cold, frosty conditions.
Sowing Autumn King Carrots is dead easy and as a general rule of thumb, they tend to dislike freshly fertilized beds, so I haven’t dug in any material from the compost bin. I first weeded and dug over the bed and created drills of around half an inch deep and about a foot apart. I pinched the seeds into the drills and covered with the excess soil.
I’m hoping that germination should take place within the next 10 to 20 days, in which case I’ll need to thin out the carrots once they’re big enough to handle. Fingers crossed