3 cups plain flour
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tbl bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp each ground cinnamon and ground ginger
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbl vanilla extract
1 1/2 walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 1/3 cup pureed cooked carrots
3/4cup drained crushed pineapple
Cream Cheese Frosting
250gms cream cheese, at room temperature
100gms reduced salt butter, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla pate
Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Grease two 23 cm springform tins.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in the walnuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple.
Pour the batter into the prepared tins. Place on the centre rack of the oven and bake until the edges have pulled away from the sides and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
Cool on a cake rack for 3 hours. Fill and frost the cake with the cream cheese frosting.
Cream together cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl. Slowly sift in the icing sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. Mixture should be free of lumps. Stir in vanilla, and lemon juice if desired.
Decorate with candied carrots and sifted icing sugar.
Take 6 baby carrots, trim, leaving some green tops.
Keep smaller carrots whole and slice larger carrots in halves or quarters through the length of carrot.
In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water. Place over high heat, and bring to a boil, brushing the sides of the saucepan with cold water to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. Add carrots, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until carrots are translucent, about 25 minutes.
In another small saucepan, combine 1.5 cups of sugar with .5 cup water. Place over high heat, and bring to a boil, brushing the sides of the saucepan with cold water to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. When the sugar has completely dissolved, remove from heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer candied carrots from the syrup in which they boiled to this new sugar syrup. Let stand until completely cooled; discard the old syrup.
Transfer carrots to some baking paper, gently pat dry with kitchen towel. The carrots can be used to decorate the cake or stored for a couple of days in an airtight container.